DeMint Wants To Rein In Regulations: Constitution Won’t Let Him

Posted by | September 24, 2010 10:10 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Senator Jim DeMint introduced legislation that would curb the executive branch’s ability to issue regulations that implement the laws passed by Congress.

Mr. DeMint has accused the Obama administration of strangling various sectors of the economy with onerous regulations, and his bill would require Congressional approval of any new “major rule” – that is any regulation that “may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.”

This is a favorite of conservatives.  It gives them a chance to favor legislation that sounds good but has no chance of passing (it would need 67 votes to override a certain veto) and would be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (which overturned similar legislation in 1983).  The Gingrich Congress passed similar legislation in 1995 (the Congressional Review Act) and because of constitutional and political objections the statute became so impotent that only one regulation in 15 years has been overturned.  As always, conservatives love the Constitution unless it stands in the way of their policy goals.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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