1. Powers of Congress

Powers of Congress, US Constitution Article I, Section 8

Our government is routinely violating the Constitution.  Why isn’t anyone stopping them?  Could it be that we, as citizens, are not paying attention?  Can we do anything about this situation?  The purpose of this Star Report is to remind people that the Constitution specifically lists those powers given to the Congress and the President.  The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) states that ALL “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 Congress shall have Power (1) to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare* of the United States, but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

(2) To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

(3) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

(4) To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

(5) To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

(6) To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

(7) To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

(8) To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writing and Discoveries;

(9) To constitute Tribunal interior to the Supreme Court;

(10) To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

(11) To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

(12) To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

(13) To provide and maintain a Navy;

(14) To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

(15) To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions;

(16) To provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

(17) To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;—and

(18) To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United Sates or in any Department or Officer Thereof.

President James Madison, the 4th President of the United States and also called “The Father of the Constitution” said, with reference to the Defense and General Welfare clause in the first enumerated power (* above), “To view the ‘general welfare’ as the end all, gives the Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited power as defined in the Constitution.  If the ‘general welfare’ clause of the Constitution authorized the Congress to do anything that tended toward the general well-being of the country, then why had the Framers bothered to specifically list the powers of Congress in Article I, Section 8?”

He also said, “using the ‘common defense and general welfare’ wording for approval of all legislation would render the special careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper.”

Let’s begin holding our elected officials accountable for usurping powers they don’t have.  Let’s remember this on November 2nd.

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