Washington is succumbing to its own manufactured undercurrent—one where the principles of our Republic have taken a back seat to the partisan schemes of the day. Surely, the American Framers are rolling over in their graves. It is worth reminding everyone, especially the Biden administration and the Democrat majority in Congress, that the rights we are fortunate to possess were never bestowed upon us by the federal government. Our rights are God-given.

So, why does the federal government act as if it can issue edicts and exert undue coercion whenever it likes? The Constitution serves as a bulwark to deter this kind of encroachment; yet, it is regarded today by many in Washington as merely a doormat that one can simply wipe one’s feet on. Though it will surely pain my colleagues across the aisle to hear this, I’ll say it anyway: there is no line-item veto to the Constitution. To treat our founding document, and the God-given rights of the people in such low regard is a testament to how far the federal government has gone astray as of late.

Last week in the People’s House, we witnessed another egregious attempt to usurp the rights of Americans – specifically regarding the right to keep and bear arms. Before The Framers penned the Second Amendment, and even before our Republic was founded, Americans faithfully exercised the right to keep and bear arms. As a refresher, this right is formally protected by the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791 – and it should stay that way. The Second Amendment is intended to empower individuals and avert interference – otherwise known as “infringement” – from the federal government. Over time, the ideological agendas of Washington Democrats have contorted the definition of “infringement” to such an extreme that they now regard it as a solution rather than a threat.

When parents exercised their First Amendment rights at school board meetings across the country in defense of their children, persecution was greenlighted by the Biden administration and the Department of Justice within a snap of a finger. In tandem, the FBI created a “threat tag” system to surveil and investigate outspoken parents. Is this kind of retaliatory behavior what we can expect from the federal government from now on? I’ll put it simply: aversion to the Constitution is an aversion to the people. Which of our God-given rights will be put through the bureaucratic guillotine next?

In his farewell address on January 11, 1989, President Reagan gave one of the most profound assessments of our Constitution, and the power of the American people:

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: “We the People.” “We the People” tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. “We the People” are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the People” tell the government what it is allowed to do. “We the People” are free.

Our Republic is riddled with fragility right now. Reverence towards the Constitution is on the verge of extinction. Bureaucracy is no longer on a short leash—it has come loose and is now nipping at our heels and our God-given rights. We’re in uncharted waters, and it’s up to us to reverse course and right the ship before we are beyond the point of no return.

The Framers intentionally crafted the Constitution so that it would serve as the people’s north star – and we must not forget that. Forsaking that sacred document is a course that we should never take, and doing so is an affront to the very principles that guided the formation of our Republic in the first place. Come November, we will have a referendum focused on protecting the Constitution and the God-given rights of “We the people.” Neither bend to the federal bureaucracy, and they never will.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and is the Republican Leader of the House Committee on Education and Labor.