Rutledge Calls on Senate to Rein in Unelected Federal Bureaucracy
October 16, 2017
Says, ‘Proper change is badly needed to place appropriate restraints on an out-of-control rule-making process’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a coalition of 13 attorneys general urging the U.S. Senate to curb the authority of federal agencies to create and enforce regulations.
Writing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the coalition is calling on the Senate to pass a bill that would amend the Administrative Procedure Act, a statute that sets forth the requirements for lawful executive agency action.
“Proper change is badly needed to place appropriate restraints on an out-of-control rule-making process,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Federal regulations and sanctions must be developed in a transparent process that is consistent with separation of powers and federalism but that has not been the case. It is time for the Senate to act and reform this process.”
The letter states that the Obama-era executive overreach demonstrates that existing congressional, judicial and other structural checks on the regulatory state have proven inadequate and must be reformed.
One particular issue with current regulatory action is the increasing trend among agencies to make binding rules through so-called guidance documents. This abuse utilizes a mechanism, meant for non-binding advice, to attempt to implement required regulations and sanctions, while avoiding the notice and comment period required by the existing Administrative Procedure Act.
Federal agencies also are acting outside the bounds of their authority through failure to consider existing state law, the proper role of the states and the costs of regulation. The growing administrative state has resulted in a vast, unelected bureaucracy that is unaccountable to the executive branch of government.
Rutledge is joined on the letter by the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.