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AG says feds are out of bounds
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli addresses area Chamber of Commerce

Date published: 8/10/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

The federal government has been overstepping its bounds and hurting the economy, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told area business leaders yesterday morning at the Fredericksburg Country Club.

Cuccinelli's remarks came at an event organized by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also spoke to the group almost exactly a year ago.

Cuccinelli has spent much of his tenure as the state's attorney general fighting what he calls the "unprecedented" role the federal government has taken in the private sector.

Much of the attention he's received has surrounded a Virginia lawsuit against the part of the federal health care law that requires Americans to buy insurance--which Cuccinelli said is illegal.

"The case is not about health care, it's about liberty," he said, adding that it places a burden on businesses that stifles the economy.

Cuccinelli expects the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on the lawsuit any day and the Supreme Court to make the final decision on the law's constitutionality by June 2012.

Cuccinelli also said the federal government is overreaching in other ways. He called the EPA the "Employment Prevention Agency" for its efforts to regulate emissions--which Cuccinelli said have no environmental effect but lead to higher costs for cars and other products. He said that ends up hitting the poor.

Cuccinelli also vowed to defend Virginia's status as a right-to-work state, which he said is a competitive advantage for recruiting businesses.

In response to a question, the attorney general said he is excited about the Republicans' prospects for the 2012 presidential election. He thinks the party can espouse a vision and focus that was lacking in 2008.

He also called on the business community to stop trying to curry favor with the federal government to gain an advantage over their competitors. He said that's mostly a problem with big business.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com