September 14, 2013

Adopted at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) National Convention

WHEREAS, the founders established a Federal system of government and enacted Article One Section 3 to the Constitution to provide for a Senate that represented the interests of the States and balanced the populist sentiments of the House of Representatives; and

WHEREAS, Senators elected by and answerable to the legislatures of the States ensured that the interests of the States were protected in Washington; and

WHEREAS, enactment of the 17th Amendment has resulted in a Senate more attuned to Washington lobbyists and special interests than to the States resulting in a derogation of 10th Amendment rights, an un-Constitutional expansion of Federal power at the expense of the States, and massive unfunded mandates on the States; THEREFORE be it

RESOLVED, that the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) recognizes that only through grassroots initiatives at the State level can honesty be restored to the legislative process through a return to the true bi-cameral body envisioned by the Founders; and be it further

RESOLVED, that NFRA calls upon the members of the Houses of Representatives and Senates of the 50 States to invoke Article V of the U.S. Constitution and call for repeal of the 17th Amendment and to work with the legislatures of the other states toward that end; and be it further

RESOLVED, that in states where the legislatures are disinclined to take the necessary action NFRA encourages its State chapters to work in coalition with other like minded grassroots activist groups to utilize citizen initiative referenda, propositions, and other vehicles to move the question on State ballots; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the language in the Constitution replacing the 17th Amendment shall have clarity and read as follows:


     'Section 1. The seventeenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

     'Section 2. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chose by the legislature thereof, for six years and subject to recall by the legislature; and each Senator shall have one vote.

     'Section 3. The pay and benefits afforded each Senator shall be determined by the legislature of the State and appropriated by that legislature and paid from the State's treasury. No Senator shall draw any pay, remuneration, or benefit from the Federal Treasury.

     'Section 4. If vacancies happen by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any State, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

     'Section 5. Upon ratification of this Amendment the Senate shall be prorogued and new members appointed by the State legislatures.

Be it further

RESOLVED, that copies of this Resolution be sent to the Governors of the 50 states, the leader of the upper chamber of each States' legislature, the leader of the lower chamber of each States' Legislature, all media outlets, and grassroots organizations.


September 14, 2013

Adopted at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) National Convention

WHEREAS, the United States Constitution guarantees "to every State in this Union a republican form of government;" and

WHEREAS, the founders understood that the foundational principle of the "consent of the governed" in republican government resides, as a sacred trust, with the legislative representatives of the people; and

WHEREAS, in republican government, the founders recognized the natural predominance of the legislative branch as expressed in Federalist 51: "It is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates."; and

WHEREAS, the control of education is left to the States and the people and is not an enumerated power of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Marshall, noted in the 1803 Marbury v. Madison case, “[T]he Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained?"; and

WHEREAS, in 2010 many Executive Branch officials in the states, without authority from their legislative bodies and thus without the consent of the governed, unilaterally committed to education reform initiatives through the Race to the Top grant application process, a grant wholly created by the federal Executive Branch without input from Congress, again bypassing the consent of the governed, and implemented with $4.35 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus bill); and

WHEREAS, this participation in Race to the Top requires the states to implement a plethora of far-reaching changes including the following: the adoption of common "national" standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics (now known as Common Core); aligned computer-driven assessments developed by state consortia; full implementation of a statewide longitudinal data system linking teacher evaluation to student performance, and enabling the collection of myriad private student and family data; and greater focus on priorities such as pre-kindergarten learning outcomes; and

WHEREAS, it has become evident that Race to the Top is driving educational policy priorities at the state and local levels without the consent of the governed, and that this push to nationalize standards and testing will inevitably lead to more centralization of education in violation of federalism and local control and of the spirit, if not the letter, of three federal laws; and

WHEREAS, Race to the Top will create new tax burdens to pay for enormous unfunded mandates on states and local school districts; and

WHEREAS, through testing consortia agreements, the collection and sharing of massive amounts of student-level data will violate student privacy, and the tracking methods, using Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems as the backbone, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, will "enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system." THEREFORE, be it

RESOLVED that the delegates of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies to the 2013 Convention resolve that state legislative bodies should initiate legislative action to:
  • Withdraw from the Common Core Standards;
  •  Withdraw from the testing consortia developing tests for the Common Core standards and forego any other testing aligned with the Common Core standards;
  •  Prohibit all state officials from entering into any agreements that cede any measure of control over education to entities outside the state and ensure that all content standards as well as curriculum decisions supporting those standards are adopted through a transparent statewide and/or local process fully accountable to the citizens in every school district; and
  •  Prohibit the collection, tracking, and sharing of personally identifiable student and teacher data except with schools or educational agencies within the state and guarantee all individuals the right to prevent non-academic, personal data from being collected or shared.


September 14, 2013

Adopted at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) National Convention,

(The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act)

WHEREAS, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) wants Americans of all backgrounds to have the opportunity to prosper and pursue happiness;

WHEREAS, the NFRA values many aspects of the traditional Hawaiian culture and recognizes these as major contributors to the essence and spirit of Hawaii;

WHEREAS, the NFRA recognizes the heritage and valuable contributions to society of all ethnic groups in the United States;

WHEREAS, the NFRA recognizes the blessings of more than 200 years of integrated society and civil rights for all in Hawaii since the people of Hawaii were unified;

WHEREAS, the NFRA believes that addressing social and other problems affecting descendants of native Hawaiians to help them become self-reliant in modern Hawaii is a matter for all the people of the 50th state to resolve;

WHEREAS, the NFRA encourages personal sovereignty, self-determination, color blindness, equal opportunity and a level playing field whereby anyone can make the most of his/her life;

WHEREAS, the NFRA recognizes that those who wish to succeed in the United States can and will achieve success without special rules, racial preferences, set asides, and the like;

WHEREAS, the proposed Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Bill seeks to divide Hawaii along racial lines, permit the establishment of laws which distinguish between people of different ethnicities, and create a new, ethnically-exclusive government or governing entity which duplicates the services provided by our existing governments; THEREFORE, be it

RESOLVED, that the NFRA in convention at Dallas, Texas, September 14, 2013, in advocacy of equal rights, opposes the racially and ethnically discriminatory legislation called the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Bill, known as the Akaka Bill; Be it further

RESOLVED that the NFRA opposes the enactment of any provisions of the Akaka Bill to include the establishment of a native Hawaiians-only government, program, department or agency as well as the division of the people of Hawaii by race or ethnicity through congressional legislation, presidential order, executive branch powers, or via regulatory implementation; Be it further

RESOLVED that the NFRA opposes any governmental attempt to grant preferences, privileges, and special subsidies or payouts to any single ethnic or racial group in violation of American principles of racial equality, equal opportunity and equal protection under the law; and be it further

RESOLVED that copies of this resolution shall be posted on the NFRA website, transmitted to NFRA membership, and be distributed to all members of Congress, the Chairs of the State Republican party of Hawaii, and the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.


September 14, 2013

Adopted at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) National Convention,

WHEREAS, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) supports free market principles and opposes undue restrictions on international trade of legal merchandise into the United States;

WHEREAS, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261) (46 U.S.C. § 55102), known as the Jones Act, is a Federal cabotage law which restricts the transportation of cargo by water between two points in the United States to U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, U.S.-owned, U.S.-crewed, U.S.-operated vessels;

WHEREAS, the Jones Act limits competition in the domestic shipping industry and causes higher consumer prices, especially impacting the non-contiguous jurisdictions of Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico;

WHEREAS, the non-contiguous jurisdictions are dependent on ocean shipping for interstate surface transportation and their geography precludes access to alternatives such as interstate railroad, road truck and pipeline transportation which are readily available on the contiguous United States and mitigate the impact of the Jones Act on the 48 U.S. mainland states;

WHEREAS, the Jones Act by severely restricting competition has produced an oligopolistic structure in the domestic shipping industry that provides interstate ocean transportation and has led to significant inefficiencies which greatly increase ship operating costs;

WHEREAS, the cost of constructing oceangoing deep draft ships in the major U.S. shipbuilding yards is four to five times more expensive than for comparable ships in Japan and South Korea and U.S. shipyards have built fewer than three deep draft merchant ships annually since the late 1980’s while Japanese shipyards deliver an average of 200 ships for export each year;

WHEREAS, the U.S.-build requirement of the Jones Act is no longer an acceptable imposition on the non-contiguous jurisdictions, as it is an absolute merchandise-import restriction, creates an artificial scarcity of major capital ships, erects substantial barriers to entry, restricts market contestability, and has led to an aging and inefficient deep-sea common carrier fleet in the domestic non-contiguous trades;

WHEREAS, the residents of the non-contiguous jurisdictions bear the cost of substantially higher freight rates to subsidize inefficient and commercially uncompetitive U.S. major ship building industry through higher freight rates and charges levied by the domestic ocean carriers in the non-contiguous domestic trades;

WHEREAS, other modes of domestic transportation are permitted to use foreign manufactured equipment for commercial operation without restriction including aircraft, railroad cars and locomotives, trucks, automobiles (for taxis) and mass transit vehicles; THEREFORE, be it

RESOLVED, that the NFRA in convention at Dallas, Texas, September 14, 2013, in advocacy of free trade supports an exemption from the U.S.-build requirement of the Jones Act for large self-propelled ships engaged in the domestic non-contiguous trades. Be it further

RESOLVED that the NFRA urges Republican members of Congress to act in the best interests of the residents, families, and small businesses of Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico by supporting non-contiguous trades Jones Act reform; And be it further

RESOLVED that copies of this resolution shall be posted on the NFRA website, transmitted to NFRA membership, and be distributed to Republican members of Congress, the Chairs of the State Republican parties of Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.