Daines Helps Introduce Bill to Rein in Regulatory Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines has introduced legislation to rein in out of control executive agencies that interpret laws inappropriately to grant themselves more regulatory authority than Congress intended.

The Regulatory Authority Clarification Act would allow Congress to provide additional clarification on what regulatory authority has or hasn’t been granted by passing concurrent resolutions. 

“Montanans know far too well the cost of Washington’s top-down, unchecked ability to issue broad and burdensome regulations,” Daines stated. “This legislation is a good step towards reducing the costly red-tape that hinders the growth and stability of hardworking Montana businesses. It’s far past time to rein in overbearing regulations and give Montana families, business owners and taxpayers the relief they deserve.” 

Although Congress can rein in agencies by passing new laws or using the Congressional Review Act, these methods require the president’s approval, effectively creating a 2/3 majority requirement to override a veto. Under the Regulatory Authority Clarification Act, Congress could use resolutions that are not subject to presidential approval to make it clear what authority Congress has or has not granted agencies in law and to overrule improper interpretations by agencies. 

The Act provides another tool to restrict and define agencies’ broad rulemaking ability that has the ability to harm Montanans, like the recently published so-called Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules.

The resolutions would not be able to rescind authority that is explicitly granted, or create new authority that didn’t exist in the original law.

The legislation was introduced by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and also co-sponsored by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

In the Senate, Daines has authored multiple pieces of legislation that would foster transparency and accountability for Americans, including S. 826 – the Regulatory Examination Vital for Improving and Evaluating Working Solutions (REVIEWS) Act and S. 1487 – the Regulatory Predictability of Business Growth Act. 

S. 826 implements a decennial review of all federal rules to ensure that the American people aren’t subjected to regulations that are outdated, unworkable or simply no longer make sense, while S. 1487 requires agencies to subject certain interpretative rules to public notice and comment.