Constitutional Principles & Limited Government

At the dawn of America, the people entered into a sacred contract to establish rules for self governance – the U.S. Constitution.  In this founding document, Americans conveyed very specific and limited authority to the federal government, while reserving all other powers for the people and the states.  It is crucial that Congress, the President, and the Courts strictly adhere to the Constitution when making, enforcing and interpreting the laws, and that all three branches of government acknowledge and abide by the very real limitations on federal power contained in the Constitution.

Unfortunately, in recent years we have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the federal government that has expanded the finite authority granted to it in the Constitution into seemingly infinite authority, trampling on state and individual rights and blurring the distinction between the public and private sectors.

I am committed to the Constitution and to the constitutional principles of limited government, states’ rights, and individual liberties, and I will continue to fight hard to make sure the federal government abides by the restrictions the Constitution places on it.

Actions

  • Early in the 114th Congress, on January 9, 2015, I was proud to lead Members of the House of Representatives in demonstrating our commitment to the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded.  Members of Congress came together on the floor of the House of Representatives to read aloud the U.S. Constitution, the very document we as Members swear an oath to uphold. There is no better way to start the new Congress than by reflecting on and recommitting ourselves to the fundamental founding principles enshrined in the Constitution.   

    I chose to read aloud the 10th Amendment to the Constitution which preserves the rights of the states and individuals. The U.S. Constitution was first read at the beginning of the 112th Congress when Republicans regained the majority.

  • Among other efforts to rein in our supersized federal government, I support legislation to prevent unnecessary regulations and red tape, to restrict unfunded mandates on state and local governments. Toward that end, I introduced H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act, which was adopted by the House of Representatives on January 13, 2015. The legislation requires federal bureaucrats to adopt the least costly method to effectively implement the law.  

  • I was proud to help usher the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048) through Congress to protect our civil liberties and end, once and for all, the National Security Agency’s unlawful bulk data collection program that has intruded upon our rights as Americans. It was signed into law on June 2, 2015. The USA Freedom Act proves once again that we can protect both Americans’ civil liberties and our national security without compromising either one. This new law ends bulk collection, enhances civil liberties protections, increases transparency for both American businesses and the government, and provides national security officials targeted tools to keep America safe.

  • I am a Member of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, which is dedicated to restoring limited government to safeguard individual liberties as intended by our Founders and prescribed by our Constitution. 

  • I am a Member of the 10th Amendment Task Force, which is dedicated to dispersing power from Washington, DC and restoring the Constitutional balance of power through liberty-enhancing federalism. 

CONGRESSMAN BOB GOODLATTE
If you’d like to be updated about important issues happening in Congress that might affect you, please sign-up for my E-Newsletter.