Joyce, Golden Introduce Legislation to Rein In the Power of the Federal Government 

WASHINGTON D.C. – This week, U.S. Congressmen Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Jared Golden (ME-02) introduced the Limiting the Intrusive Bureaucracy and Empowering Regulatory Transparency for You (LIBERTY) Act. The legislation would require economically significant guidance documents issued by the Executive Branch to adhere to the same oversight standards subjected to rules and regulations, ensuring that guidance documents go through the public notice and comment period and that they can be terminated by Congressional action. 

“In 2022, President Biden attempted to implement his costly student loan forgiveness plan through a guidance document, a deliberate choice to avoid Congressional oversight and deny Americans the opportunity to weigh in on the proposal,” said Congressman Joyce. “At a time when Washington spending is out of control, this legislation will provide critical balance and oversight to the agency guidance process. I encourage my colleagues to support this legislation to provide necessary checks and balances to prevent executive overreach and excessive spending.” 

“Our government is built on a balance of power, yet current law allows the President and the Executive branch to unilaterally implement legislation that Congress passes without proper oversight. This bipartisan bill would simply give Congress the oversight power needed to ensure that the bills passed by Congress are implemented as they were intended to be,” said Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02).

“Agency bureaucrats always seek the path of least resistance. When it comes to making regulations with the force of law, they find creative ways to sidestep the normal rulemaking process and avoid public scrutiny by issuing guidance,” said Robin Walker, senior federal affairs director for the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). “Regulators are going to great lengths to keep their rulemaking hidden. Rep. Joyce’s LIBERTY Act would shine a light on the process, bringing transparency to the agency guidance process and restoring congressional oversight authority.”  

Background:

  • During his first year in office, President Biden issued more economically significant rules, regulations, and guidance documents than any of his past three predecessors during their first year in the White House. 
  • Since taking office, President Biden has issued over $1.2 trillion worth of rules and regulations without virtually any Congressional oversight, including his student loan forgiveness plan and his massive expansion of Medicaid eligibility. 
  • While formal agency rules are subjected to Congressional oversight and public scrutiny, the less well known “guidance document,” is a tool that Presidents can use to impose regulations without those regulations being subjected to the formal notice and comment periods. 
  • The LIBERTY Act would change this by subjecting economically significant guidance documents to the same level of scrutiny applied to formal rules. 

Read the full text of the bill here

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