If the United States is truly a nation that is ruled by law then the Enumerated Powers Act should be a no-brainer. When the Constitution was adopted it laid out the specific powers of the various branches of government. As the supreme law of the land and the document defining what Congress is meant to do, it should be a simple thing to require that each bill cite the section of the Constitution granting authority for the bill in question. The Constitution is short enough that our congressional representatives should be able to quickly find the applicable section. If the authority is not specified in the Constitution there is a means in place to acquire that authority if it is warranted – that is the amendment process. This limitation to the codified law was so important to our founders that they specified in the Bill of Rights that any power not specified in the Constitution was to be reserved to the states.
When Congress felt it was necessary to levy an income tax the appropriate steps were taken to amend the Constitution to allow for such a tax. That is an example of the rule of law. Unfortunately, most of our Congressional leaders do not care if they have the authority to do what they are doing – they only care if doing what they are doing will jeopardize their chance for re-election. Maybe Congress should try to repeal the Tenth Amendment.
If the Enumerated Powers Act were passed it would enable people to verify the authority of Congress on any bill they passed and it would highlight any passages of the Constitution that were being used to justify excessive or undesireable legislation. If such passages were identified, the people have the ability to clarify those specific passages of the Constitution – through the amendment process.