Home > Uncategorized > Forcing Congress to Legislate

Forcing Congress to Legislate

I think that a solution to the problems we are currently facing is relatively simple. For example, the ACA, what some call Obamacare, is about 2400 pages long. The enabling regulations are about 25,000 pages, give or take a few, and will probably top out around 50,000 pages or so. This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a surprise. Taking a look at the collection of Federal regulations, also known as the CFR, one can easily see how legislation becomes an extraordinarily large collection of regulations.

This happens thanks to something called “delegation of powers.” This is the procedure by which Congress decides to do something about a problem, whether real or perceived. It then holds hearings, makes findings, and passes legislation. But the legislation is, not surprisingly, woefully non-specific and inadequate.

To solve the problem it has created, Congress then passes the buck. They delegate their power and responsibility to legislate to the unelected bureaucrats that are in charge of and populate the ever-growing departments of the federal leviathan. The narkoms publish proposed regulations, about which we are permitted to comment, and then they are implemented. While not having the same penalties for disobedience as criminal law, they can have penalties that will completely destroy a life. One need only see some of the IRS’ activities to realize that.

The problem is that once the law is passed and signed, the implementation and enforcement is then handed off to people over whom we have the second-least control, after the SCOTUS. Once the heads of the various departments have the power of regulation, they don’t give it up. They pass more and more regulations, leading to bureaucracies and rulebooks that become so complex that even those in charge can’t comprehend them. Nota bene, the IRS admits that half of the information given out by their customer service people is wrong. They further say that if you make an error based on their advice, that your good-faith reliance is not a defense.

So, to fix this, what I propose is simple, and will prevent a number of problems arising from regulatory overreach. Eliminate Congressional delegation. Make Congress write a law, to include necessary regulations, and not pass off the finer points to a different branch of government. If Congress can pass a 2,400-page bill, they should be able to pass a 52,400-page bill. At a minimum, they wouldn’t be able to take so much vacation time. They might actually have to spend more time legislating instead of campaigning.        It is a cinch that there would be fewer laws passed. Remember what Will Rogers said, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. “

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