Virginia, with its challenge against the federal health care law, is no stranger to thumbing its nose at Washington. And on Tuesday legislators had at it on the House floor over federal vs. state power.
The House advanced a bill introduced by Del. Mark Cole, R-Spotsylvania, that would exempt goods produced or manufactured in Virginia, and held in Virginia, from federal regulation — but not before a heated discussion on the matter.
“I just think we’re going a little too far to score political points – that’s not our job,” said Del. Jennifer Mclellan, D-Richmond.
Del. Joseph Morrissey, D-Henrico, sarcastically asked Cole what would prevent him from transporting a jar of Virginia peanuts outside the state.
Cole argued that the bill is meant to be a check on federal power.
"Now, practically anything you do is regulated from Washington," he said.
Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, agreed with the sentiment.
“There are those of us who are very frustrated with our federal government; where it’s headed,” he said. “There are some symbolic elements to it…but we have an attorney general now who is not engaging in symbolism."
Whether the bill has a shot in the Democratic-controlled Senate is, undoubtedly, an entirely different matter.