WASHINGTON -- It didn’t take metro Detroit’s newest congressman long to find a piece of legislation he wanted to put his name on.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio’s office announced he’d signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 109, which would require Congress to specify the constitutional authority for every piece of legislation it enacts.
"I am proud that the first bill I am cosponsoring holds Congress accountable for its highest duty of upholding the Constitution," said Bentivolio (R-Milford).
"I was sent to Congress to protect our rights, not take them away. If this bill is enacted, it will act as a safeguard against unconstitutional legislation."
Bentivolio, a political newcomer, took the oath of office last week.
The legislation, otherwise known as the Enumerated Powers Act, was introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia and helps refine a rule enacted two years ago in the Republican-led U.S. House.
At that time, House leaders adopted a rule requiring each bill be accompanied by a statement explaining why it was allowed under the U.S. Constitution. Last year, however, complaints were raised that some members of Congress were providing incomplete statements. The legislation would require clear constitutional authority and allow other members of the House to raise objections for inadequate or flawed statements of constitutional authority.
The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.