RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen wrote today in The Daily Caller about how leaders in the Trump Administration are starting to undo the regulatory power grabs of the Obama Administration and being attacked for it by liberals:
For the eight years of the Obama Administration, liberals worked through extra-legal means to achieve the policy goals they desired that did not have enough popular support to be passed by the legislature. Sometimes this took the form of convincing judges to ignore the text of statutes and regulations and decide cases on the basis of policy, over-ruling the will of the people expressed through their representatives. Other times, it took the form of agencies ignoring the rule of law, seizing power, and enacting new policies without regard to their statutory limits and without proper procedures such as rulemaking following notice and comment.
He began with the example of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to undo the "net neutrality" rules enacted in 2015:
The “telecommunications service” classification was designed for monopoly telephone services and gives the FCC extremely broad authority to regulate. Extending this regulatory authority to Internet service is unquestionably an extension of the FCC’s authority. It was an extension that was authorized not by Congress but by the FCC itself.
Even worse, this power grab was unclear. . . . Chairman Pai’s proposed plan would return Internet service regulation to the previous regulatory framework—which had been upheld by the Supreme Court—and restore the FCC’s authority to the level granted by Congress. He publicly released it, unlike in 2015 when the details were released only after the FCC had already adopted them.
Mr. Thielen also points to the examples of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) deputy director's desperate bid to maintain control of the CFPB against President Trump's newly appointed acting director, who has announced a regulatory freeze, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ending the "sue and settle" practices by which activist outside groups controlled the interpretation and implementation of the EPA's statutes and regulations. Mr. Thielen concludes by noting:
These are just a few examples of the immense amount of work remaining to be done in the Executive Branch to restore the rule of law. This effort is the opposite of a power grab. It is giving power back to the people through their elected representatives and taking power away from unelected activists inside and outside of government.
We thank these courageous leaders and President Trump for fighting to restore the rule of law to the federal government against the attacks of liberals and obstruction of Obama-holdover and career staff members in federal agencies.