The Administrative State: Who Needs Congress Part Two

The Administrative State: Who Needs Congress? Part Two  by Peter Burrows 3/28/15

In part one, posted here on March 19, I ended with an email to this district’s Congressman, Republican Steve Pearce.  Below is that email and his response.

Two things are apparent:

1) Nobody read my email, or if they did, it was without understanding it.  (I bet emails are scanned for key words and a form letter reply is then sent. Probably the key word in my email was “EPA.”)

2)  Pearce’s reply illustrates one of the points made in part one, namely that Congress spends a lot of time passing laws to undo the laws passed by the unelected bureaucrats.  In this case, H.R. 5078, which passed with enough House votes to override a Presidential veto.

However, H.R. 5078 HAS NOT PASSED THE SENATE.  This means that the issue of  EPA overreach is still of great concern to those who would be most effected. This was very apparent at the Grant County/New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau meeting held last Thursday night at the American Legion hall in Silver City.

Perhaps the title of this article should read, “Who needs YOU, Congressman Pearce?”

(Full disclosure: I voted for Steve Pearce in the past and intend to do so in the future. The Democratic Party will never have a candidate with views closer to my own than Steve Pearce’s views.  You can bet the house on that.)

3/19/15 email:

Congressman Pearce,

Recent rulings by the FCC and EPA have made it quite clear that Congress is becoming irrelevant in an age of the administrative state.

To restore Congressional oversight, I suggest you propose a law that says that NO proposed bureaucratic laws/regulations go into effect unless they are approved, at the very least, by an oversight committee of elected representatives, preferably by a two-thirds majority.

I realize this would greatly increase the Congressional work load, a lament that will receive little sympathy from the public. To lessen the work load, I suggest congress eliminate some of the bureaucracies in Washington, starting with those that have NO constitutional authority, e.g. HUD.

This email has been published in The Grant County Beat on 3/19/15 as part of an article I wrote, which can be found in “Columns – Libertarian Leanings.” I plan to do likewise with your response.

Sincerely, Peter Burrows, Silver City

3/27/15 Reply:

Dear Mr. Burrows,

Thank you for contacting me to express your views regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and water regulation in the U.S. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

On September 9, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 by a bipartisan vote of 262-152. The bill prevents the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding their regulatory jurisdiction over ponds, streams, and ditches currently regulated by the states.

The EPA and Army Corp of Engineers’ proposed rule for Waters of the United States would have a devastating impact on communities throughout southern New Mexico. Farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are already over-regulated by the federal government, they do not need more. The proposed rule is another example of the Obama Administration’s continued attempt to unilaterally implement unnecessary federal regulations. H.R. 5078 blocks this blatant federal overreach by prohibiting the implementation of the rule, allowing the state of New Mexico and its local officials to continue to effectively regulate their own waters.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the benefit of your views.

Steve Pearce
Member of Congress

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