statue-of-liberty

As we approach the 241st birthday of the Declaration of Independence, we should also take stock of how bloated the current federal government has become. The Campaign for Liberty put it in plain terms:

In fact, today Americans cannot get a job, open a bank account, or transfer money between a savings and checking account, educate our children, or even take a shower without having to comply with some federal regulation.

So, it becomes important to separate those who give lip service to liberty from those who are working every day to rein in the power of the federal bureaucracy. Republicans might think themselves always on the side of limited government, but recent history has not proven that true.

In fact, Washington, D.C. has largely become a team sport. If your team is in control, you support broad federal power grabs. Even some Conservatives, who purportedly prioritize federalism, fell into this trap under President George W. Bush. At the end of President Bush’s eight years, the number of federal subsidy programs had grown by 30 percent, while government spending skyrocketed.

Today, with Republicans in control of the House, Senate and Presidency, some in Congress are pushing measures that would actually increase the tentacles of the federal government, not reduce them.

But the Campaign for Liberty insists federalism is alive and well, at least in some circles in Congress. Specifically, the slow but steady progress of the REINS Act, which takes major regulation out of the hands of unelected bureaucrats and puts it back in the hands of the people – through their elected officials in Congress, gives them reason to cheer:

A special thank you to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Georgia Representative Doug Collins — who is the sixth ranking member of the GOP House leadership — for taking the lead as main sponsors of REINS legislation in the Senate and House respectively.

Representative Collins was joined by all of his fellow Georgia Republicans — including Representative Tom Graves who Chairs the Financial Services Appropriation Subcommittee — in supporting REINS.

Rep. Collins holds the 5th highest spot in the GOP leadership. In his letter to colleagues, while running for the post, Rep. Collins imagined a GOP that would once again pursue limited government, a move that would unburden Americans from government-imposed economic and creative limitations.

Both Rep. Collins and Rep. Graves have a strong track record trying to limit the overreach of the federal government. The two representatives have staunchly defended their home state, fighting back attempts to use federal government funding bills to erode local control.

And the two have not been shy to take on the judiciary when it has erred. Rep. Collins was one of the Supreme Court’s biggest critics when it overturned Texas’ health and safety standards in abortion clinics – calling the decision an erosion of states’ rights.

Now more than ever, we need champions like Doug Collins and Tom Graves to keep the bloated federal government in check and keep control of government close to the people.