If Legislation is Blocked, the White House Will Chose Regulation

Writing at The American Spectator, Quin Hillyer previews an expansive regulatory agenda the Obama Administration is likely to pursue even more aggressively in the wake of the November elections. The reasonable thesis: If the Legislative Branch will not write economy-choking laws, then the Executive Branch will accomplish the same through regulation.

From “Not Triangulation but Regulation“:

Obama’s promised “hand-to-hand combat” will increasingly pit executive overreach versus constitutional legislative authority. Republican congressmen understand this, and the Pledge to America includes support for a bill that would block any new “major rule” promulgated by federal agencies until the rule is approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by the president. Of course, President Obama would kill that bill with one of the quickest vetoes imaginable.

Former House Appropriations Committee chairman Bob Livingston of Louisiana suggested another solution in a recent Wall Street Journal column. Just insert language in necessary spending bills that specifies that “none of the funds appropriated in this Act shall be used for… [whatever Congress wants to block].”

Obama can’t regulate if he can’t pay the regulators. But unless newly empowered congressional Republicans challenge him, he’ll regulate all of us half to death. 

The power of appropriating — or not appropriating — is shaping up to be the House’s primary point of leverage in the 112th Congress, with implementation of the new health care law being the biggest battle. The omnibus spending bill that Senate Majority Leader Reid was forced to pull included $1 billion for health care funding.

P.S. In surveying the Administration’s various regulatory focii, Hillyer cites Rosario Palmieri and Keith Smith of the National Association of Manufacturers on their areas of expertise, regulatory policy and labor policy, respectively. Thank you.

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