By TRAVIS ANDERSEN, Associated Press Writer Travis Andersen, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 15 mins ago
CONCORD, N.H. – For small-government die-hards, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill recently passed by Congress isn't a life saver. It's the last straw.
Lawmakers across the country are sponsoring resolutions — most of them only symbolic — asserting state sovereignty, in effect the right to ignore any federal law or policies they deem unconstitutional, including the stimulus bill, the No Child Left Behind Act and any new assault rifle ban.
In New Hampshire, the House is scheduled to vote on Republican state Rep. Daniel Itse's resolution Wednesday. Supporters are planning a rally at the Statehouse before the vote.
"I think that the specter of some assaults on our liberty have become so real and immediate that there is a reaction," Itse said.
Lawmakers in at least 15 states are sponsoring similar resolutions. They say they're fighting back against decades of federal overreach, culminating in the stimulus package.
"This has been a progression from (the New Deal) days to today, with the only break being Ronald Reagan," South Carolina state Rep. Michael Pitts said by e-mail. Pitts, a Republican, has a resolution pending in the South Carolina House. "The stimulus bill is simply propellant for the resistance."
In January, 22 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center disapproved of the stimulus. That number rose to 34 percent in February. The survey — which polled about 1,300 respondents — has a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Two lawmakers say they have received hundreds of calls from constituents supporting their resolutions. Michigan state Rep. Paul Opsommer, a Republican, said about 250 people have called or e-mailed to say thank you, whereas most of his bills draw fewer than 10 messages.
Missouri Republican state Rep. Cynthia Davis, whose resolution is pending in the House, said she has received at least 200 supportive messages from constituents and residents in other states.
"I'm getting letters from all over the country," Davis said. "It's really a beautiful thing, watching the spirit of the American Revolution come back."
Resolution sponsors cite the 10th Amendment, which says the federal government has no authority beyond the powers granted to it under the Constitution.
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