DES MOINES, Iowa – State Rep. John Wills, R-Spirit Lake, filed a bill, HF 481, that would prohibit any taxpayer-funded entity from implementing a presidential executive order that infringes on Iowans’ rights or is declared unconstitutional by Iowa’s attorney general.
Every president has issued executive orders, but under a flurry of executive orders by the Biden Administration, Republican lawmakers are concerned about federal overreach by executive order that impacts the state.
“This bill is a common-sense bill to limit the power of the federal government and the executive branch in the future. This bill will prohibit state of Iowa expenses for unconstitutional executive decisions,” Wills told The Iowa Torch.
The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution places limits on federal power by asserting state’s rights. It reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the State respectfully, or to the people.”
The bill prescribes the legislative council to review presidential executive orders not affirmed by being codified into law by Congress and signed into law. The legislative council can then recommend that the attorney general and governor further review the executive order.
The bill states that the attorney general is required to provide a review at the legislative council’s request. Suppose the attorney general finds it is an unconstitutional order. In that case, the attorney general can recommend that the state either seeks an exemption or have the order declared to be an unconstitutional exercise of legislative authority by the president.
The legislation seeks to protect Iowans from presidential executive orders that may infringe upon their rights in the following instances:
- A pandemic or other health emergency
- The regulation of natural resources, including coal and oil
- The regulation of the agriculture industry
- The use of land
- The regulation of the financial sector as it relates to environmental, social, or governance standards
- The regulation of the constitutional right to bear arms
Wills told The Iowa Torch that the bill is one of the things he is attempting to accomplish this legislative session to return state government to embrace a federalist system.
The bill was assigned to a subcommittee consisting of State Reps. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, Brooke Boden, R-Indianola, and Christina Bohannan, R-Iowa City. The subcommittee will meet next week.
Read the bill below:HF481