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Oklahoma bill would let taxpayers help fund fight against federal laws

The measure sailed through the Oklahoma House last month on an 80-15 vote, and the Republican Senate sponsor said he intends to bring the bill to the full Senate for a vote — perhaps this week, right before federal taxes are due.
BY SEAN MURPHY Modified: April 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013

“This administration is constantly skirting the legislative process and going around Congress to use administrative agencies to push their federal agenda down onto the states.”

Pruitt's reaction

Pruitt was elected during the 2010 GOP sweep of every statewide-elected office in Oklahoma and certainly is no stranger to fighting against what he characterizes as an overreaching federal government.

After a campaign built around a pledge to fight the federal government's intrusion into states' rights, Pruitt created a federalism unit within his office that is currently challenging the tax penalty provisions of the federal health care law, Environmental Protection Agency regulations on regional haze and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

His office also has either filed or joined challenges on the EPA's rules on air pollution and greenhouse gases, and on the contraception mandate in the federal health care bill.

“As an attorney general, our responsibility is to make sure that the rule of law is followed, and that as Congress has passed legislation, they have given certain authority to the states ... and often times, of late, agencies at the federal level and sometimes the administration itself, have acted in ways inconsistent with what the law says,” Pruitt said.

“It's very important, in fact I think it's my job, to make sure that as those things happen. We seek to enforce the rule of law to preserve our ability as a state to do that which Congress has authorized us to do. It's that simple.”

The bill is likely to pass in the Senate, where Republicans enjoy a 36-12 edge over Democrats, and many GOP members campaigned on a pledge to oppose the Affordable Care Act and other federal mandates.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has not said whether she would sign the bill, but in the past, she has been critical of the Obama administration, saying it often oversteps boundaries when dealing with states.


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