On Thursday a group of lawmakers took steps to bring balance back to our federal government and begin curtailing the power of the executive in D.C. One of our government’s biggest problems in recent years is that unelected officials have been giving the power to interpret laws and create new regulations based on the whims of the President. In an effort to end this practice, Republicans in Congress have come together to introduce the “Separation of Powers Restoration Act,” which would end the practice of government agencies interpreting law and send such issues back to the courts for adjudication.
The Senate bill was introduced by Senators Hatch (UT), Grassley (IA), Lee (UT), Lankford (OK), Flake (AZ), Inhofe (OK), Tillis (NC), Cruz (TX), Cornyn (R-TX), Sasse (NE), and Sullivan (AK).
The House bill was introduced by Representatives Ratcliffe (TX), Goodlatte (VA), Marino (PA), Chaffetz (UT), Buck (CO), Yoho (FL), S. King (IA), Bryne (AL), Babin (TX), M. Brooks (AL), Brat (VA), Love (UT), Salmon (AZ), Hensarling (TX), Rouzer (NC), Bishop (MI), Palmer (AL), Messer (IN), Mulvaney (SC), Labrador (ID), Trott (MI), Mullin (OK), Sensenbrenner (WI), Schweikert (AZ), DeSantis (FL), Loudermilk (GA), Issa (CA), Westerman (AR), Burgess (TX), Culberson (TX), Lummis (WY), Walker (NC), Olson (TX), J. Smith (MO), Kelly (PA), Renacci (OH), Gosar (AZ), McMorris Rodgers (WA), LaMalfa (CA), D. Collins (GA), Graves (GA), Franks (AZ), Farenthold (TX), Griffith (VA), L. Smith (TX), and Chabot (OH).
Here are some of the statements from the Congressmen supporting the bill.
Jim Inhofe (R-IA): “At the core of our unique system of government are three equal branches – the legislative, executive, and judiciary. However, under the Obama administration, executive branch overreach has upset that balance. The Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly been among the worst offenders. The American people can no longer afford EPA’s costly and lawless regulatory actions premised on the notion of agency deference. This ‘just trust us’ mentality is not enough. This bill is an important step to restore the necessary balance among the branches and protect the American people from excessive executive overreach.”
Mike Lee (R-UT): “The Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016 will restore that balance by bringing back traditional judicial review of administrative actions.”
Ted Cruz (R-TX): “At a time when runaway executive agencies are more unwieldy than ever, empowered by a lawless president, Congress must act to reassert and restore its appropriate place as a coequal branch of government. It is encouraging to see members in both houses working together to stop unelected bureaucrats, who are wreaking havoc on our nation’s economy as well as the Constitution. This bill reverses the trend of enabling bureaucracy at the expense of Congress and the courts.”
Ben Sasse (R-NE): “Washington’s unelected bureaucracy is not a super-legislature but too often it acts like a fourth branch of government. This bill takes an important step to restore the Constitution’s system of three separate branches of government with specifically defined duties on behalf of the American people.”
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX): “Congress has largely outsourced its Article I, Section I legislative powers to the Executive, empowering bureaucrats while relegating itself to the legislative sidelines. Exacerbating this congressional self-enfeeblement is a legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court known as Chevron Deference. This is the foundation of the so-called Fourth Branch of government, in which federal agencies have become legislator, prosecutor, judge, and jury. It’s past time for Congress to take back its constitutional authority. That is why Senator Lee and I started the Article I Project (A1P). The ‘Separation of Powers Act’ is a small but vital first step towards fulfilling the mission of A1P.”
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