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Amendment left to die in Senate

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A proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow states to vote collectively to repeal any unwanted federal law was left to die in a Virginia Senate subcommittee this week.

The House of Delegates voted 59-34 on Tuesday to adopt its version of the resolution, but a subcommittee of Privileges and Elections in the Democrat-controlled Senate rejected a companion bill the same day.

Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, tried to revive the measure, arguing that the panel's decision not to put the resolution on its agenda was a breach of the chamber's rules. But Chairwoman Janet Howell, D-Reston, ruled the motion out of order, and the decision was upheld on a 9-6 party-line vote.

The Virginia GOP was quick to cast the tactic as a way for Democrats to avoid having to vote on the issue during an election year.

Still, Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Upperville, said the resolution, when combined with similar conservative-led measures in statehouses around the country, will have an impact in getting the attention of Congress on perceived overreaching by the federal government.

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