2015 Was a Productive Year for the Lawmaker-in-Chief

The Constitution gives Congress the authority to make laws. That’s proof the Constitution is a dead letter. Back in January, Mark Horne wrote that Obama was setting records in the amount of regulations he was issuing. Now, The Hill reports, “Study: 2015 was record year for federal regulation.”

2015 was a record-setting year for the Federal Register, according to numbers the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., released Wednesday.

This year’s daily publication of the federal government’s rules, proposed rules and notices amounted to 81,611 pages as of Wednesday, higher than last year’s 77,687 pages and higher than the all-time high of 81,405 pages in 2010 — with one day to go in 2015.

In a blog post on the libertarian think tank’s website, the group’s vice president for policy, Clyde Wayne Crews, said there have been 3,378 final rules and regulations among the pages of the Federal Register this year. Some of the major final rules included the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and its Waters of the Unites States rule, as well as the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order.

He said another 2,334 proposed rules were issued in 2015 and are at various stages of consideration. On top of that, President Obama issued 29 executive orders and 31 executive memorandums, among them were agency directives to expand paid family and medical leave and overtime pay.

To combat what he considers to be overregulation, Crews said Congress should repeal the certain statutes, require congressional approval for big rules and enforce maximum requirements set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act.

Most of those things can be vetoed by Barack Obama. There is no substitute for the power of the purse.

For what it’s worth, Congress never had the authority to confer regulatory authority (another term for legislative power) to executive agencies.

As Mark Horne wrote,

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.

We are reaping what Congress has sown by ignoring the Constitution.