Regulatory Overstepping: How Biden’s Federal Agencies Are Bypassing Congress – AMAC


It is common for branches of government to compete for jurisdiction over certain policy issues.

When it comes to major issues of legislative policy, over the past few decades Congress has too often either relinquished its decision-making power outright or sent it to the courts to avoid political accountability. Over time, the executive branch has increased its power and authority to the point that it is now common for the president to attempt to exercise powers beyond what is granted by the Constitution. Below are some examples of the Biden administration’s overreach and how federal agencies circumvent Congress.

One of Joe Biden’s most important campaign promises in 2020 was to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline which was authorized in 2019 by the Trump administration. On May 20, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14030 unilaterally halting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would have created 11,000 jobs and brought much-needed American-made oil and natural gas to the world market while reducing costs and strengthening American energy independence. Who could go for mean tweets and $2 in gas right now? Since 2011, Congress has passed dozens of laws and held several votes authorizing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a 2019 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.

It was recently announced that the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) is considering a rule that could increase rail shipping costs. Mark Jamison, a former consultant for the American Association of Railroads, writes, “This is a policy called reciprocal commutation, where a company that ships something by freight rail gets access to the track, to the equipment and facilities of a competing railroad for point-to-point transportation generally. served by a single competing railway. If experiences with similar telecommunications regulations are any guide, shippers are wrong. What is likely to happen instead is a decline in rail service, which will increase shipping costs.

One of the boldest acts of overreach by the Biden White House (to date) is Executive Order 14042, the Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate on American Workers and Small Businesses issued September 9, 2021. The order would have mandated all major companies to require vaccinations or negative test results for their employees, a gross excess of the federal government’s authority. Fortunately, in January the Supreme Court blocked the order from taking effect and a federal appeals court decision in February refused to overturn the stay, preventing the executive order from taking full effect. American Enterprise Institute nonresident senior researcher John Yoo aptly explains why Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, writing, “Even if the President could find a source of authority granted by Congress to regulate all businesses, he could not enforce his orders with federal power alone.

To be fair, several congresses dating back nearly 40 years are all partly responsible for the rampant executive exaggeration. The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, congressional Democrats are demanding even more executive action from the Biden White House, which is outrageous to any objective observer living in today’s economy. The number of White House executive orders, federal agency rules and other directives issued by President Biden illustrates a power-drunk administration and the Democratic Party’s need to control the daily lives of Americans. It will take a new president in 2024 to reverse President Biden’s executive overreach and restore sanity to federal agencies.

Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action

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