Thursday, December 08, 2016

Will Republicans Support Bringing Regulatory Agencies Under Control?

One of the most undemocratic parts of our government is the power of government agencies to make rules which have the force of law immediately. Rep. Todd Young of Indiana has introduced a bill to require congressional approval of "all new major regulations" from federal agencies.
(Sec. 2) States that the purpose of this Act is to increase accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process by requiring Congress to approve all new major regulations.
(Sec. 3) Revises provisions relating to congressional review of agency rulemaking to require a federal agency promulgating a rule to publish information about the rule in the Federal Register and include in its report to Congress and to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) a classification of the rule as a major or non-major rule and a complete copy of the cost-benefit analysis of the rule, including an analysis of any jobs added or lost, differentiating between public and private sector jobs. Defines "major rule" as any rule that is made under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget finds has resulted in or is likely to result in: (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.
Requires a joint resolution of approval of major rules to be enacted before such rules may take effect (currently, major rules take effect unless a joint resolution disapproving them is enacted). Provides that if a joint resolution of approval is not enacted by the end of 70 session days or legislative days, as applicable, after the agency proposing the rule submits its report on such rule to Congress, the major rule shall be deemed not to be approved and shall not take effect. Permits a major rule to take effect for one 90-calendar day period without such approval if the President determines it is necessary because of an imminent threat to health or safety or other emergency, for the enforcement of criminal laws, for national security, or to implement an international trade agreement.
Senator Tom Cotton supports it and hopes President Trump will sign the bill.
Cotton said in an interview that he supports the passage of a bill that would require an up-or-down vote from Congress on major agency regulations. Currently, those regulations automatically go into effect unless Congress explicitly votes override them. “I’d like him to sign that bill,” he said of Trump.
So far all Republicans in the House (except  four who didn't vote) approved of this legislation. Only two Democrats voted for it. Now it goes to the Senate.

Will Senate Republicans and President Trump support this brake on unelected bureaucratic control of the country? This is as important as keeping originalists in the majority on the Supreme Court. It is a much easier method of controlling authoritarian legal/political activism than the case by case method of the courts.

H/T John Fund


MAX Redline said...

That's excellent, TD! Figures that only two Democratics voted in favor.

As you may know, I've railed against the idiocy of having unelected lifer bureaucrats enacting law without Congressional oversight for quite some time. I'd love to see this passed and signed into law.

OregonGuy said...

Given what I've seen of the upcoming appointments, we may want to hold off a bit before putting the brakes on unilateral regulation destruction. This said, knowing that certain rules exist to remove as well as to create regs.

T. D. said...

I should have dedicated this post to you! You have been on this for a lo-o-o-ong time. It doesn't bode well that the Dems were almost unanimously against it in the House. They'll probably filibuster as they have a stranglehold on key bureaucratic positions. In part because people in government jobs tend to be pro-government growth for personal and general mindset reasons.

T. D. said...

OG, looks like this applies to old rules as well as new ones.

"(Sec. 5) Directs the GAO to conduct a study to determine as of the date of enactment of this Act: (1) how many rules were in effect, (2) how many major rules were in effect, and (3) the total estimated economic cost imposed by all such rules. Requires a report to Congress on such study within one year of the enactment of this Act."

Even if that weren't the case, in principle I believe the Declaration of Independence and am against authoritarian government even when it agrees with me on some major issues because obviously it can't agree with my major principles of government. (Major exception: I'm for the authoritarian rule of Christ when He returns. :-)

MAX Redline said...

One of the things Hairy Reed did during his time in office was to find ways to successively undercut the filibuster, TD. Since he opened that door, he may have crippled his own party in that regard. This could get interesting!

T. D. said...

Supposedly the filibuster for legislation and supreme court justices is still in place. But, who knows, the Republicans may repeal it there too. Then we'll have 100% rage ahead legislation. Though it will only work if one party has the majority in all three branches. When Republicans not only don't fix the mess but expand it as Democrats have done, it will be their turn to lose control. Then the Dems will rage ahead.

It continues to amaze me that people look to government to fix their problems despite the dreadful track record. They always believe the promises. Actually there are better odds that you will get rich on lottery tickets.