H.Con.Res.299 - Expressing the sense of Congress that executive departments and agencies must maintain the division of governmental responsibilities between the national government and the States that was intended by the framers of the Constitution, and must ensure that the principles of federalism established by the framers guide the executive departments and agencies in the formulation and implementation of policies.105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: H.Con.Res.299 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in House (07/16/1998)
Calls for executive agencies, when formulating and implementing policies that have federalism implications, to: (1) strictly adhere to constitutional principles and closely examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any Federal action that would limit the policy making direction of the States; (2) take Federal action limiting the policy making discretion of the States only where constitutional authority for the action is clear and certain and the national activity is necessitated by the presence of a problem of national scope; (3) recognize the distinction between problems of national scope and problems that are merely common to the States; (4) recognize that constitutional authority for Federal action is clear and certain only when authority for the action may be found in a specific provision of the Constitution, when there is no provision in the Constitution prohibiting Federal action, and when the action does not encroach upon authority reserved to the States; (5) encourage States to develop their own policies to achieve program objectives and to work with officials in other States; (6) refrain from establishing uniform, national standards for programs and, when possible, defer to the States to establish standards; and (7) consult with officials and organizations representing the States in developing national standards when required.
States that: (1) the national Government should grant the States the maximum administration discretion possible with respect to national policies administered by the States; and (2) intrusive Federal oversight of State administration is neither necessary nor desirable.
Calls for observation of the following special requirements for preemption of State law: (1) agencies should construe a Federal statute to preempt only when it contains an express preemption provision, when there is some other firm and palpable evidence compelling the conclusion that the Congress intended preemption, or when the exercise of State authority directly conflicts with the exercise of Federal authority under the statute; (2) if a Federal statute does not preempt, such agencies should construe any authorization in the statute for the issuance of regulations as authorizing preemption by rule making only when the statute expressly authorizes issuance of preemptive regulations or when there is some other such evidence compelling the conclusion that the Congress intended to delegate preemption authority; (3) any regulatory preemption should be restricted to the minimum level necessary to achieve the objectives of the statute; (4) an agency that foresees the possibility of a conflict between State law and federally protected interests should consult with State officials and organizations to avoid such a conflict; and (5) an agency that proposes to act through adjudication or rule making should provide all affected States notice and an opportunity for participation in the proceedings.