September 18, 2021

September 18, 2021

Your Source for Free Speech,
Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

The Infrastructure Bill is the Latest Violation of Federal Dollars Spent Unconstitutionally

by | May 24, 2021 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There has been a lot of questions asked about the latest infrastructure bill in Congress. Can we afford it? Where will the money be spent? The one question I have not heard asked? Is it constitutional? 

Spending bills are nothing new. Neither are infrastructure bills. The questions that faced America early in her existence should be the same questions we ask today. What are the limitations on the federal government?

To the House of Representatives of the United States: Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled, An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements,” and which sets apart and pledges funds for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of watercourses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense,” I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND SUBSCRIBE ON RUMBLE

Veto Message on the Internal Improvements Bill

On March 3rd, 1817, President James Madison vetoed a spending bill that Congress had sent him. As per Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution requires, he returned the bill to the house that originated it with his objections.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approves, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it.

U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, Clause 2

While the reason President Madison vetoed the legislation is simple, its also quite important. Not only does it show the proper role of a Presidential veto, but it’s also an example to all of those who would ever hold that office of the checks and balances created by the U.S. Constitution.

President Madison makes the point in the very first paragraph of his veto message that he cannot reconcile the Internal Improvements Bill with the powers delegated in the Constitution of the United States. The remainder of the letter is his explanation of the difficulties he sees.

Enumerated Powers:

The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the Constitution’s first article. It does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation within the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States.

Veto Message on the Internal Improvements Bill

When the Affordable Care Act was being debated in the House of Representatives, a reporter asked then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi where the Constitution gave Congress the authority to pass an individual health insurance mandate. Her response? Are you serious? Are you serious?” While those in politics and the media today are not serious about Constitutional limitations, the American people should be.

President Madison recognized that spending money on infrastructure was not among the enumerated powers delegated to Congress in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. And since the infrastructure was not among the Constitution’s powers vested in the United States, Congress did not have the power to make laws necessary and proper for executing that power.

President Madison goes on:

The power to regulate commerce among the several States” can not include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of watercourses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such a commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress.

Veto Message on the Internal Improvements Bill

The only way to consider building infrastructure part of the power to regulate interstate commerce is to ignore the Constitution’s language. This also explains why some have gone so far as to include childcare, pre-school education, and even paid leave as infrastructure. Allowing those in offices created by the Constitution to reinterpret it in any fashion they want is not liberty, and its not even tyranny. It is despotism.

Absolute power; authority unlimited and uncontrolled by men, constitution, or laws.

Despotism – Websters 1828 Dictionary

One of the justifications Congress provided for the 1817 Infrastructure” bill was to make it easier and less expensive to provide for the common defense. Wouldnt that justify an infrastructure bill?

To refer the power in question to the clause to provide for the common defense and general welfare” would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers that follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms common defense and general welfare” embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it is expressly declared that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, in as much as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.

Veto Message on the Internal Improvements Bill

If the Constitution’s common defense and general welfare clause allowed Congress to make any law they thought would fit those purposes, then the entire structure of the union would be turned upside down. No longer would the states be sovereign over their internal matters since Congress could nullify any state law with a federal one. Furthermore, the people would no longer have control over their state governments since the Constitutions that formed them would be subject to the whim and will of Congress. No longer would the federal government be exercising just powers by the consent of the governed. Rather they would become the despotic tyrants we see today.

However, what if the states approve of Congress spending money this way?

If a general power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of watercourses, with the train of powers incident thereto, be not possessed by Congress, the assent of the States in the mode provided in the bill can not confer the power. The only cases in which the consent and cession of particular States can extend the power of Congress are those specified and provided for in the Constitution.

Veto Message on the Internal Improvements Bill

Since state governments are just as bound to the Constitution of the United States as the federal government is, they cannot authorize it to do something outside of the powers delegated to it in the Constitution. Just because the states have abdicated their responsibility to act as a check on the abuses of the federal government, it does not make them right or legal.

So what are we to do? How could important essential infrastructure work be completed if the federal government cannot do it? Arent these projects too important to ignore because of a little issue of constitutionality?

I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of watercourses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that the Constitution does not expressly give such a power, and believing that it can not be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and a reliance on insufficient precedents; also believing that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it, and to cherishing the hope that its beneficial objects may be attained by a resort for the necessary powers to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation which established the Constitution in its actual form and providently marked out in the instrument itself a safe and practicable mode of improving it as experience might suggest.

Veto Message on the Internal Improvements Bill

Part of the failure in government today comes from the tearing down of the partition between the state and federal governments. If these projects are so important, and if they are authorized by the states’ Constitutions and of the United States, then the states can fund them. Why should New Yorkers pay for improvements in Florida or Tennesseans pay for fixing roads in California that have been neglected? If these projects are so beneficial, let those who would directly benefit from them pay for them.

Why do the American people act like only Washington, D.C., can get these projects done? For the same reason, Willie Horton said he robbed banks: Thats where the money is.” For the last century, the American people have allowed their state governments to become dependent on federal money. With the authorization of the federal income tax and the removal of state representation in the U.S. Senate, the states have made themselves subjects of Washington, D.C. Not only have the states succumbed to bribes coming out of our nations capital, but the people have as well. Why else are so many clamoring for federal programs that the Constitution does not authorize? While there is plenty of blame for those who work in our statehouses, the real blame is with the people who hired them.

The spending spree that has marked the beginning of the Biden administration is not a compassionate act; it’s bribery. The American people are selling their birthright to freedom and liberty for a few coins borrowed in our own name.

As Alexis DeTocqueville said:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the publics money.”

It appears not only has Congress discovered that they can bribe the public with their own money, but that the public likes it that way.

Paul Engel

Author and speaker Paul Engel has spent more than 20 years studying and teaching about both the Bible and the U.S. Constitution. That experience helps Paul explain difficult concepts in a way most people can understand. As one manager described, “Paul can take the most complex idea and explain it in a way my grandmother can understand.” Freely admitting that he “learned more about our Constitution from School House Rock (a Saturday morning cartoon) than in 12 years of school,” he says that anyone can be a constitutional scholar. Since 2014 I have been helping everyday Americans read and study the Constitution of their country and teaching the rising generation to be free. Using news and current events as a springboard, I explain the Constitution and encourage others to stand up and secure the blessings of liberty for themselves, their children, and the nation.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.

The Rising Tyranny of Global Governance

The Rising Tyranny of Global Governance

During his first hours in the Oval Office, Biden recommitted U.S. funding to the WHO and pledging America to rejoin the Paris Agreement regarding climate accord, which Trump had also terminated. It’s time to recognize that Trump’s ”America First” free-market policy was right. The U.S. must never cede sovereign rights and interests to socialist-backed global tribunals and agendas…

The Tyranny Embedded in Medical Cancel Culture

The Tyranny Embedded in Medical Cancel Culture

The world is slowly awakening to the fact that we have been manipulated. More people are now realizing the absurdity of masking, the damage caused by shutdowns, and most recently the increased COVID infections resulting from experimental “vaccines” that hyper-sensitize our immune response. The true vaccine adverse effects and death statistics have been swept under the rug. We have yet to see the full collateral damage…

The Monopolistic Control Over Ideas Must Stop

The Monopolistic Control Over Ideas Must Stop

Who gave Bill Gates the right to censor how we transmit our thoughts and ideas. Who gave Mark Zuckerberg the authority to set limits on our thought processes on Facebook? And Twitter, the most egregious of all, has the gall to cancel the account of the President of the United States, Donald Trump. Because electronic data bits are intangibles, are they still not subject to the controls of fairness when used for nefarious purposes?

Andrew Giuliani Announces His Run For NY Governor In 2022

Andrew Giuliani Announces His Run For NY Governor In 2022

Giuliani hears the outcries of New York citizens over the mishandled debacle of Governor Cuomo, who is in deep water with this year’s emerging sexual misconduct allegations. The bigger scandal is the 9,000 nursing home deaths during the covid pandemic, which only clamped down on law-abiding citizens, who were being alienated from their family and friends…

Baa! We Don’t Know How To Be Free

Baa! We Don’t Know How To Be Free

We, as customers, can choose not to patronize your business. We are not mandated to spend our money with you. At least, not yet. Independent business owners have always been free to ask customers to wear masks, without the benefit of an order from the governor. Independent business owners are free to ask customers to wear clown masks, dress in polka-dot shirts, or stand on their heads. And customers are free to say “No thank you,” and take…

Here is Why Biden Just Had His Best Week Ever

Here is Why Biden Just Had His Best Week Ever

Immigration, unemployment, debt, trade imbalances, Chinese Communist Party power grab, and so many other catastrophes that Trump had been working to get under control are now threatening our country’s very existence. Get rid of the spin doctors. What we witnessed this past week, indeed since Biden’s first day in office, is nothing less than the intentional destruction of our country…

Stopping the Federal Government Expansion Through Nullification

Stopping the Federal Government Expansion Through Nullification

Joe Biden does not have the balls to invade Republican-led states, and nor does the public have the stomach for doing so. Secession may lead to invasion, but nullification would not. As a consequence, at the end of the day, Joe Biden would have but two choices – ignore the fact that Republican-led states are nullifying everything the Federal Government does that is…

The CCP VIRUS Ploy Explained

The CCP VIRUS Ploy Explained

Responsibility should also be assigned directly to our own governments and indeed the population at large for grossly overreacting to the pandemic. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that too many Americans and Canadians can be quickly manipulated to surrender their freedoms and liberties when sufficiently scared by their government; even those freedoms enshrined in our constitutions…

The Third Intifada: Jihad inside Israel

The Third Intifada: Jihad inside Israel

While the Arabs and Muslims have repeatedly and publicly declared their crystal clear intentions for the last 120 years is the elimination of Israel and the Jews, the Western leaders PRETEND they care, but invariably SAVE the Muslim Arabs every single time since 1949 by stopping Israel from properly finishing the intended wars of extermination started against them…

Header

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

 

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

URGENT - KEEP NINE
Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Apple Podcasts
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap