JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri would assert its sovereignty and reject various federal policies under a proposed constitutional amendment given preliminary approval by the state House Wednesday.
The proposal says Missouri will not enforce or recognize various federal policies, including those dealing with hate crimes, gun control and allowing civil unions or same-sex marriage. It also seeks to reject federal health care policies establishing a public option or rationing care and seeks to block a "cap and trade" approach to reduce pollution blamed for global warming.
Sponsoring Rep. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, said the federal government had repeatedly exceeded its authority and Missouri lawmakers need to speak up.
"It will push back against an out-of-control U.S. Congress," Nieves said. "It will push back against ... the profound ignorance of the U.S. Congress and the profound ignorance of the members who make up that body."
Several Republicans sharply criticized Congress and the federal government while discussing the history of the U.S. and a tradition in which the federal government had limited power. Democrats, meanwhile, did not debate the measure.
The House endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment 90-69, and it needs another vote before moving to the Senate. If approved by the Legislature, the measure could appear on the ballot in November.