Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined with 14 other state attorneys general today in urging congressional leaders to take action on reforming the federal agency rulemaking process.
In a letter sent to Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, the attorneys general expressed concern over the mounting costs that unlawful federal regulations, advanced in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, impose on citizens, business and state and local governments. As chief legal officers for the states, the group points out that the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers ensures that no branch of the federal government encroaches on another, but it also limits the power of federal agencies to intrude on areas of traditional state authority. The concerns enumerated in the letter generally address guidance documents that circumvent the notice-and-comment process, regulations that lack statutory authority and agency failure to consider regulatory costs.
“Nowhere does the Constitution mention or empower federal administrative agencies, but it does reserve power to states,” Schmidt said. “The unelected employees in federal agencies have only the power delegated to them by Congress. But in recent years, agencies far too often have acted as if Congress gave them a blank check of authority to make whatever rules they want, however they want, essentially turning administrative agencies into unelected, unaccountable lawmakers. When these unauthorized agency actions intrude upon areas of traditional state responsibility, states are left with no choice but submission or cumbersome litigation to hold federal agencies in check. We’re calling on Congress to assert its constitutional authority and rein in federal agencies.”
A copy of the letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/29QX0nG .