Last Friday, I attended a meeting of House Republicans in order to elect new officers for the next session of the legislature.
There were more representatives in the room than ever before as the people voted to elect sixty-one Republicans up from fifty-seven and chose not to remove a single GOP incumbent.
The group unanimously re-elected Tulsa Representative Chris Benge as speaker. I believe Benge had earned the confidence of the Representatives with his friendly down to earth demeanor that makes it easy for them to express their opinions and engage in honest dialog about the issues they feel strongly about.
I also believe that Benge and many in the legislature are committed to using the stronger than ever conservative leadership in Oklahoma's legislature to do what we can in order to keep the obvious upcoming expansion of the federal government in as much check as possible.
You are probably aware of the recent massive expansion of the federal government which will now be firmly in control of liberal politicians who will no doubt use that power to aggressively advance an agenda that is in direct opposition to the values of many Oklahomans.
It is important to note that in creating the Constitution our nation's founding fathers designed the federal government to be small and limited in comparison to state governments. They knew that the people have a much stronger voice at the local level whereas the ability of the people to affect change is greatly limited at the federal level of government.
However, over time under both Republican and Democrat administrations both parties have used the federal government as a tool to accomplish their various agendas.
As a result the federal government has become very powerful. Now, a group of aggressive liberals can use that power not only to move America to the left but to build upon itself and increase in size, making the federal government more expansive and powerful than ever before.
As a result a bigger federal government will likely be the most responsive to those only with enough money and influence to use that power to benefit themselves. This will leave the responsibility for paying for the big government to the average taxpayer who cannot afford to invest in the high-powered lobbyists' and politician's campaigns in order to manipulate the system for their benefit.
This means that in the upcoming years we can expect the federal government to reflect both the desires of the powerful special interests and the liberal politicians who seek to forever change our nation.
During the last session of the Oklahoma Legislature the House of Representatives voted to support House Joint Resolution 1089 by a 92-3 margin. HJR 1089 sought to reassert Oklahoma's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and, according to the resolution's language, is "serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates."
The Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
The author of the legislation stated, "The more we stand by and watch the federal government get involved in areas where it has no legal authority, we kill the Constitution a little at a time. The last few decades, the Constitution has been hanging by a thread."
While this resolution passed with the strong bi-partisan support of the Oklahoma House it appears to have failed to receive a hearing in the Oklahoma Senate. This year, with a new more conservative leadership in the Oklahoma Senate I am hopeful that legislation such as HJR 1089 will receive a fair hearing.