House bypasses governor’s veto to claim Oklahoma’s sovereignty
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT
Published: May 5, 2009
Although Gov. Brad Henry vetoed similar legislation 10 days earlier, House members Monday again approved a resolution claiming Oklahoma’s sovereignty.
Unlike House Joint Resolution 1003, House Concurrent Resolution 1028 does not need the governor’s approval.
The House passed the measure 73-22. It now goes to the Senate.
"We’re going to get it done one way or the other,” said the resolutions’ author, Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City.
"I think our governor is out of step.”
House Democrats objected, saying the issue already had been taken up and had been vetoed, but House Speaker Pro Tempore Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, ruled the veto is not final action.
Key said he expects HCR 1028 will pass in the Senate. HJR 1003 earlier passed the House 83-18 and won approval in the Senate 29-18.
Henry vetoed HJR 1003 because he said it suggested, among other things, that Oklahoma should return federal tax dollars.
Key said HCR 1028, which, if passed, would be sent to Democratic President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, would not jeopardize federal funds but would tell Congress to "get back into their proper constitutional role.” The resolution states the federal government should "cease and desist” mandates that are beyond the scope of its powers.
Key said many federal laws violate the 10th Amendment, which says powers not delegated to the U.S. government "are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The Constitution lists about 20 duties required of the U.S. government, he said.
Congress should not be providing bailouts to financial institutions and automakers, he said.
"We give all this money to all these different entities, including automakers, and now they’re talking about, ‘Well maybe it’s better to let them go bankrupt,’” Key said. "Well, maybe we should have let them go bankrupt before we gave them the money.”