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Congressman Tom Marino

Representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania

Marino joins Goodlatte and Ratcliffe to Introduce Legislation to Rein in Runaway Administrative State

March 17, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (PA-10) joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6), and  House Judiciary Committee member John L. Ratcliffe (TX-4) in introducing  H.R. 4768 – the Separation of Powers Act  to restore accountability to the regulatory process. 

The bill would empower the courts, not agencies, to interpret all questions of law, including both statutes and regulations.  

“I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and Senate for their efforts on this bill.  Our Founders envisioned three separate but equal branches of government.  But for too long, we in Congress have skirted our duties by drafting weak legislation that empowers rather than constrains the ever growing administrative state,” said Rep. Marino.  “The Supreme Court’s Chevron decision only worsened this problem, as the Court abdicated its own role as the ultimate judge of the law. Today’s bill curtails the overreach of executive agencies at the source of their power, the Administrative Procedure Act, and begins the important steps of returning control of the government to the people, through Congress.”

"Today's federal administrative state is an institution unforeseen by the Framers of our Constitution, that is rapidly mushrooming out of control. This overgrown bureaucracy is tipping our system of checks and balances away from the legislative and judicial branches, and towards a stronger, emboldened, and overreaching executive,” Chairman Goodlatte added. “The precedent set by Chevron has been a catalyst for a runaway administrative state, and we are undertaking a strong, bicameral effort to bring balance back to our federal government."

 “The endless stream of rules and regulations being rolled out by federal agencies has real consequences for real people all across the country. Unelected federal bureaucrats are not accountable to the American people and can’t be voted out of office; yet, they wield immense power to impose regulations that have the force of law,” Rep. Ratcliffe added. “I’m grateful to be a part of the solution today as we introduce this important legislation to rein in an administrative state that has been allowed to wield immense lawmaking power outside of the will of the Constitution.”

Members of the House Judiciary Committee were joined by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who introduced an identical bill in the United States Senate.

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Background: 

•    Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Chevron, there has been increasing confusion in the courts, Congress, the legal bar, and legal academia on the issues of whether, when and how courts should defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of the statutes they administer. Thursday’s event will focus on these issues, and specific ideas for solutions to the confusion spawned by Chevron.

•    This week, Congressman Marino chaired a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform hearing entitled, “The Chevron Doctrine: Constitutional and Statutory Questions in Judicial Deference to Agencies.” The hearing focused on how much leeway bureaucrats currently have to interpret laws already passed by Congress since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984).