Republican Lawmakers Launch States' Rights Task Force

A group of Republican lawmakers launched a task force on Thursday that seeks to reclaim the powers they say the federal government has unconstitutionally taken away from the 50 states.

The 10th Amendment Task Force, a project of the Republican Study Committee, will develop and promote proposals that aim to usher in what supporters are calling a "New Era of Federalism."

"When federalism is out of balance, people get hurt," Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, one of the group's 10 co-founding members, said at a news conference Thursday. "We want to empower state and local governments."

"We've trampled on the 10th Amendment many times and we will monitor pending legislation to try to stop that," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, another co-founding member.

The other task force members are: Reps. Tom Price of Georgia, John Culberson of Texas, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Michael Conaway of Texas, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, and Tom McClintock of California.

The lawmakers say the task force was created in response to the "public outcry over the concentration of power and the one-size-fits-all solutions from Washington."

"More than ever, Americans are expressing frustration at having important facets of their lives controlled by a government that is out of reach and out of touch," the lawmakers said in a press release. "Among other things, the task force will focus on educating Congress and the public about federalism, elevating federalism as a core Republican focus and monitoring threats to 10th Amendment principles."

The 10th Amendment asserts that any powers the Constitution doesn't grant to the federal government or prohibit to the states belong to the states or the people.

Bishop acknowledged that the federal government has grown under Republicans as well as Democrats.

"We don't need to change the message, we need to change the tactics," he said. "We need to partner with the states and transfer programs to the states. Right now, federalism is out of balance."

Fox News' John Brandt and's Stephen Clark contributed to this report.