Obama Administration Keeps Churning Out Regulations

The White House is setting records on the speed at which it is creating new regulations.

We all have heard about how much President Obama relies on executive orders or Presidential memos. Let me ask a hypothetical question. What if President Obama passed an executive order that claimed to ordain that five other people also had the right to issue executive orders? Does that sound like something that the President has the power to do?

What if he says they are Executive Orders but he can cancel them within thirty days if he doesn’t agree with them?

Of course, it is completely wrong. The Constitution states who the chief executive is. It never authorizes him to share his authority with other people.

And the reason why we have a President who is able to wield so much power is precisely because our Constitution has been ignored in that way—not by the President but by Congress.

I was reminded of Congress’ role in this mess by this post at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: “2014 Ends with a 78,978-Page Federal Register; 3,541 Rules and Regulations.”

At year-end 2014, the Federal Register stands at 78,978 pages, the fifth-highest count ever.

(The published version contains 79,066 pages, but I net out blank and skipped pages in my roundup.)

Of the six record-high tallies, five are Obama’s as the chart nearby shows. The pen and phone have been active.

Number of Federal Register Pages, 2002-14

So far this is all on Obama and his reckless will to regulate. Furthermore, he has withheld information from Congress in order to destroy legally required accountability:

Another 2,375 proposed rules were issued in 2014 and are under consideration. The new Congress will have an opportunity to consider resolutions of disapproval of controversial ones under the Congressional Review Act; however the needed reports on major rules for Congress to do its job here have not been forthcoming.

So, just like Nancy Pelosi said of the Affordable Care Act—that we needed to pass it to find out what was in it—so the nation is only going to find out about these regulations after they become the law of the land. Congress will never learn about them to stop them.

The solution for over-regulation is requiring congressional approval of, not opportunity to disapprove, big rules. Reintroducing the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) and passing it in the Senate would address the matter. When Obama vetoes it, he can be asked why he thinks the unelected should make our law. (REINS is mis-named: the root of the problem is Congress’ over-delegation of power, and its toleration of the resultant abuse.)

That last parenthetical statement cannot be emphasized enough. All these agencies and departments have been made into independent legislative bodies. They are all completely unconstitutional. They are now sources of regulations that are influenced by the Executive but that spit out new rules so fast that Congress cannot keep up. They usurp Congress’ authority.

Congress never had the right to abdicate to them!