If the GOP takes back control of the House of Representatives in November, it better be by a lot. They’ll need as many GOP representatives as they possibly get, to fight off the Regulators.
Phoenix-area blogger Mike Becker, one of the stalwarts of the conservative blog “Redstate,” noted recently that “the President and his advisors don’t seem to be panicking over the almost certain loss of the House and the potential loss of the Senate.”
Why? They may not need Capitol Hill all that much anymore.
President Obama came into office with a well defined hard left – socialist, some would say – agenda. In his first two years in office the only real game changing pieces of legislation that he’s been able to pass, even with a solidly leftist Congress – is ObamaCare and the financial regulatory package he just signed. Both Cap&Trade and CardCheck were DoA. With Republicans in control of the House and with at least a filibuster proof minority in the Senate he’s not likely accomplish much that the editors of The Nation or MoveOn.org will be celebrating in the next Congress.
So, what’s going to happen? Thank you for asking. What will be happening is that the “shadow government”, the regulatory agencies, will take over where Harry&Nancy couldn’t get the job done.
The “Daily Caller’s” Jon Ward recently wrote about how Democratic-controlled Executive Branch agencies now have the ability to wreak havoc, unless stopped.
In one sense, Obama and congressional Democrats don’t need to pass any more major pieces of legislation. Having passed a massive overhaul of the health care system and financial regulation, they will have plenty to do – and plenty they will be able to do – simply in writing regulations and rules to implement those laws.
The Environmental Protection Agency is also planning to regulate carbon emissions, in the absence of a bill written by Congress to do so. That figures to be a third major avenue of action for the Obama administration no matter who controls Congress.
And the fourth avenue is labor law, where the Obama administration shares many of the same goals as organized labor, which is also one of its biggest sources of political and financial support.
“With the slowing of the labor/employment agenda on Capitol Hill, the administration is utilizing the regulatory agencies to implement its agenda,” read a U.S. Chamber report released this past week.
In the realms of health care and financial regulation, the twin bills passed within the last year establish sweeping rule-making powers for federal agency officials in Washington. The health care bill has handed significant new authorities to the Department of Health and Human Services, while the financial regulation bill established an entirely new federal bureaucracy, the Consumer Protection Agency, with broad powers to oversee private enterprise.
Most of the rules and regulations under these two bills have yet to be written or disclosed publicly.
How convenient. (Emphasis above added).
More from Mike Becker:
The US Department of Labor, like the rest of the federal bureaucracy, is filled with regulators who share the Obama world view. The DoL is loaded with appointees whose careers were made working as union organizers. Give the Obama Administration’s willingness to use executive fiat and regulatory sleight of hand to accomplish what they can’t legislate, you can be sure that the DoL will be looking for the same back door to CardCheck that ICE used to stop deportation of illegal aliens last month. Bottom line, they’ll just do it.
They’ll just do it. Of course they will. Look at what happened with ObamaCare.
Scott Brown campaigned explicitly on a promise to be the 41st vote in the Senate to stop ObamaCare. That was good enough for Massachusetts—Massachusetts—to give Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat to a Republican. In response to that, and many other clear signs from the American people that they didn’t want ObamaCare—Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid crammed it down our throats anyway.
Now that all of us know just what these Democrats will do with absolute power, there’s a strong GOP wave sweeping the country. But, what can the GOP do to blunt the impact of all the legislation that’s already been passed?
This, [GOP consultant Karl] Rove said in an e-mail, is where Republican control of the House would be a big deal.
“Rules can be overturned or blocked by congressional action. They can be tied up or sued in court. Agencies can be defunded or their budgets crimped. Executive branch officials outside the White House can be called before Congress to explain,” he said.
[GOP consultant Vin] Weber laid out the coming clash in more detail.
“If you really want to fight the regulatory approach, the money bills originate in the House of Representatives. You simply put language in the money bill for whatever agency is doing the regulating, saying, ‘No money in this bill shall be used to implement regulation xyz,’” Weber said. “ The president can decide to sign the bill or not sign the bill, but that’s the kind of confrontation you’ll have if the administration gets too aggressive in its regulatory approach.”
That’s easier said than done.
Any Congressional attempt to cut funding is bound to anger some group, some special interest. You can be sure those aggrieved groups will target their Congressional opponents. Especially if those groups see cherished goals (e.g., expanded federal control over…well, everything) slipping away. So, any Congressman who really steps up and tries to stem this impending tidal wave of federal regulation needs to be ready to feel some serious heat.
Not all of them will be up to it. On each individual issue, expect some—perhaps many—Congressmen to back away, and not support tough legislation when the time comes.
Therefore, if the GOP really is going to hold off The Regulators, a five-seat majority won’t do. They’ll need a big army of new legislators, because they’ll have a big fight on their hands.
(Hat-tip to Mike Becker for pointing me to those quotes from Rove and Weber).