Mullin Reintroduces POWERS Act to Rein in Federal Overreach
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) reintroduced a bill on Tuesday to rein in the overreaching federal regulations enacted by the Obama Administration and its bureaucracy. H.R. 41, The Preventing Overreach Within the Executive Rulemaking System (POWERS) Act of 2017, echoes one of the primary priorities of the 115th Congress: limiting federal overreach.
“The start of the 115th Congress gives us a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh,” Mullin said. “With eight years of rules and regulations from the Obama Administration hanging over our heads, one of our first priorities as a unified Republican government is to cut back on the red tape that is suffocating our small businesses. Time and time again, we saw President Obama overreach his executive power and bypass the legislative branch to create regulations that are detrimental to small businesses and individuals. To restore the legislative branch’s constitutional authority, we need the POWERS Act.”
The POWERS Act provides transparency and accountability to the federal rulemaking process before a rule is finalized. Congress gives federal agencies the power to create rules, so it is also Congress’ responsibility to ensure that the rules proposed by federal agencies fit within the legislative boundaries set by Congress.
“Federal agencies have too much freedom and too little oversight in their rulemaking authority,” Mullin added. “A federal agency is responsible for executing the policy Congress creates through a transparent, accountable, and public process. They are not the legislative hand of the executive branch, and so they shouldn’t have the power to create rules and enact policies that affect Congress’ constituents, without any say from their elected representatives.”
With the POWERS Act, federal agencies will be required to respond to any formal Congressional inquiry about a proposed rule during the public notice and comment period. The rulemaking will not be allowed to move forward until the agency has responded to Congress. Presently, agencies are not required to respond to a submitted comment from the public or from Congress – making the public comment period insignificant.
“By requiring federal agencies to respond to comments and questions from Congress during the rulemaking process, the federal agencies will have to answer to Congress and the people Congress represents,” Mullin said. “I am confident that the POWERS Act will return lost legislative power back to Congress and hold federal agencies accountable for the unwarranted rules and regulations they create. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to see that the POWERS Act provides the oversight necessary to prevent federal agencies from enacting policies that are harmful to our nation.”
H.R. 41, The Preventing Overreach Within the Executive Rulemaking System (POWERS) Act of 2017, was introduced to the 115th Congress on January, 3, 2017 with 17 cosponsors. It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary for consideration.