S. 1214, The Federalism Accountability Act.


(Washington, DC) – Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) announced today that the Committee will hold a hearing on S. 1214, The Federalism Accountability Act.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999


342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Introduced by Senator Thompson, S. 1214 would ensure “the liberties of the people by promoting federalism to protect the reserved powers of the States, to impose accountability for Federal preemption of State and local laws and for other purposes.” Further, the bill would require congressional committees to provide an explicit statement on the extent to which a bill preempts State or local law and, if so, the reasons for such preemption.

Senator Thompson has a strong belief in the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment which reserves most governmental power to the state and limits federal power. He believes that the federal government should be limited to its constitutionally defined role, and that in recent years this role has been distorted by overreaching politicians and bureaucrats in Washington.

In a June 10, 1999 floor statement, Senator Thompson said, “Federalism raises two fundamental questions that policy makers should answer: What should government be doing? And what level of government should do it? Everything else flows from them. That’s why federalism is at the heart of our Democracy.”

Witnesses testifying include:

        The Honorable John Spotila, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget;

        Mr. Randy Moss, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice;

        The Honorable Thomas Carper, Governor of Delaware, Chairman, National Governor’s Association;

        The Honorable John Dorso, Majority Leader, North Dakota House of Representatives on behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures;

        The Honorable Alexander G. Fekete, Mayor, Pembroke Pines, Florida on behalf of the National League of Cities;

        Mr. Ernest Gellhorn, Professor of Law, George Mason University;

        Mr. Caleb Nelson, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia

        Rena Steinzor, Associate Professor of Law, University of Maryland, School of Law