Arguing that the federal government has “run amok” and trampled over states’ rights, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday unveiled a plan to overhaul the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states.
Abbott, the first-term Republican, rolled out nine amendments that he said would “restore the rule of law in America.” Among them: prohibiting administrative agencies from creating federal law, requiring Congress to balance the budget, and allowing a two-thirds majority of states to override a Supreme Court decision, federal law, or regulation.
Abbott said his so-called “Texas Plan” would stop an overreach by all three branches of the federal government.
“These increasingly frequent departures from constitutional principles are destroying the rule-of-law foundation on which this country was built,” Abbott said in a speech Friday before the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The cure to these problems will not come from Washington, D.C. They must come from the states."
Abbott specifically took issue with the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules limiting carbon emissions from power plants, which he has long opposed. Abbott said the rule moved by “unelected bureaucrats” would cost the state and consumers billions of dollars each year in higher electricity costs. Republicans in Congress moved a Congressional Review Act measure to overturn the regulations, but President Obama vetoed it, a move Abbott said “abdicated the promise of our Founders.”