Congress and the Constitution

In late August House Majority Leader Eric Cantor published an open memo announcing that House Republicans would seek to block ten regulations currently being considered by various federal administrative agencies. Most of these regulations involve the Environmental Protection Agency, including ozone protection, greenhouse gas regulation, coal ash and utility pollution standards. The National Labor Relations Board is also targeted for its proposed union election rules and its attempt to block Boeing from opening a new, non-union factory in right-to-work South Carolina.

Rep. Cantor has sound reasons to target these regulations. The economic impact of any one of these ten regulations on an economy already on the brink of a double-dip recession would be severe. Some, like new emission rules for utility plants are guaranteed to increase energy costs, which would have a cascade effect on all aspects of the economy. Others, like NLRB’s Boeing decision, are bald-faced pandering to the labor interests that shower so much support on Democrats in general and President Obama in particular. Put bluntly, the targeted regulations serve special interests like unions or environmentalists at the expense of the public interest.

While having the virtue of being good policy, and probably good politics, Rep. Cantor’s strategy has the vice of treating the symptoms while ignoring the underlying cause. The larger problem with these regulations is not that these agencies are abusing their rulemaking power; the problem is that these agencies possess rulemaking power in the first place. Administrative agencies are exercising authority which properly belongs to Congress.  (emphasis ours)

Read the rest of this excellent article by Kevin Portteus at Big Government



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