Senator David Pearce’s Capitol Report for the Week of May 23

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The President Abuses Federal Power

A recent directive handed down from the Obama administration exhibits an overreach of federal authority and threatens to disrupt the sovereignty of individual state and local governments. The president’s mandate on transgender facilities access in public schools has already been rejected in 11 states. Missouri needs to join those others in speaking out against this recent abuse of executive power.

On May 13, the president, working through the U.S. departments of Education and Justice, sent out a “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students,” to schools across America receiving federal funding, of which all Missouri schools were included. In a blatant strong-arm tactic, the letter implied that any schools found to be not in compliance with the executive order could potentially lose their federal funding. This is not acceptable.

Policies that affect individual schools, in different districts, in different states across the country should be decided at the local and state level – not ordered without question from a Washington office. Hundreds of schools across the Show-Me State have now been left with questions and concerns about their requirements for compliance moving forward, as well as the potential legal, financial and federal damages they might incur if the orders aren’t met.

The president should rescind his unconstitutional directive and leave local issues to be worked out in local settings. Do we really want a federal government that abuses its authority to order how bathrooms in local schools are used, without hearing any voices from the communities these kinds of decisions actually affect? This issue should not addressed by a federal edict that places federal funding in jeopardy. I will work with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to ensure important decisions like this are made on the local level, or from our State Board of Education once there has been a thorough vetting of the issue.

Please feel free to contact your U.S. elected officials’ offices, as well as the office of the president to voice your concern over this abuse of power. Your state government will continue to fight for our inherent right to independently govern without fear of looming federal oversight overshadowing our liberties.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 866-277-0882 (toll-free) or
(573) 751-2272, or by fax at (573) 526-7381.

Senator David Pearce serves Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties in the 21st State Senatorial District.