No Regulation Without Representation

September 24, 2010 05:32

It looks like with this pledge, lawmakers are at least hearing part of the message that the legislative branch needs a mechanism of accountability for costly and counterproductive regulations that stem from the laws Congress passes.

By at American Spectator


‘The document states: “We will require congressional approval of any new federal regulation that has an annual cost to our economy of $100 million or more. This is the threshold at which the government deems a regulation ‘economically significant.’ If a regulation is so ‘significant’ and costly that it may harm job creation, Congress should vote on it first.”‘

‘The principle of “no regulation without representation” is something Crews and others at CEI have been shouting from the hilltops for years, usually to deaf ears in Congress, even among Republicans.’

‘And in this case, the pledge has been preceded by proposed legislation in the current Congress. Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) introduced the REINS Act almost a year ago containing this very provision of affirmative congressional approval for major rules. The bill now has more than 70 co-sponsors. This week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced a Senate companion with 12 co-sponsors.’

‘Yet what most often happens in today’s administrative state is that regulators in the executive branch, technically changed to enforcing provisions of laws, actually write much of the law as applied.’

‘Sometimes this takes place due to creative interpretations, such as defining a farmer’s wetland the size of a mud puddle as a “navigable waterway” under the Clean Water Act.’

‘The recently passed 2,500-page Dodd-Frank Act, for instance, gives the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection the power to ban an “abusive” financial product without defining what “abusive” means.’

‘”No regulation without representation” is a simple, good-government rule that should be embraced by both parties. The GOP pledge should be commended for recognizing the principle, although time will only tell if words will be followed through with actions. ‘


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