The administrative state refers to the vast bureaucracy of government agencies under the executive branch that, as their critics charge, do not follow the public will and often pervert the agencies for their own particular unelected interests.
Representative Hageman announced on Twitter that "It’s time to take power back from the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington, DC." and attached a video of her endorsement of a set of bills that she claims will rein in the problematic administrative state.
It’s time to take power back from the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington, DC. https://t.co/8uPq34zfS8— Rep. Harriet Hageman (@RepHageman) June 5, 2023
The speech begins with the Wyoming Republican denouncing "[t]he power of the administrative state to impose radical and unpopular policies that could never be passed by Congress violates the Separation of Powers established by the Constitution and is a failed business model for running a country." She noted that "the two bills that I am here to discuss today will help restore Congress's legislative primacy, increase the accountability of policymakers to the American people, and rein in the administrative state. Neither of these bills should be controversial. The first is HR 277, The Regulations From The Executive In Need Of Scrutiny Act, also known as the REINS Act."
The Cowboy State lawmaker emphasized that "this bill is extremely important to Congress reclaiming its rightful authority and responsibility to legislate. I, therefore, think it is important that we focus on the purpose of the bill rather than on extraneous matters that are more politically motivated than policy-oriented." She said that "according to Section 2- titled 'Purpose'- the purpose of this Act is to increase accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process. Section 1 of Article 1 of the United States Constitution grants all legislative powers to Congress. Over time, however, Congress has excessively- and I would argue unlawfully- delegated its...charge while failing to conduct appropriate oversight and retain accountability for the content of the laws that it passes. By requiring a vote in Congress, the REINS Act will result in more carefully drafted and detailed legislation and improve regulatory process and a legislative branch that is truly accountable to the American people for the laws imposed upon them."
The Wyomingite congresswoman continued by saying, "Now again what I can't figure out is why anyone would oppose this. The REINS Act was drafted to address what is often referred to as the non-delegation doctrine, which is a judicially created concept that has resulted in a dramatic shift in power and accountability from the legislative branch to the executive branch. The non-delegation doctrine is what has justified moving regulatory power from Congress to the agencies. It has what has allowed regulatory agencies to adopt regulations and even guidance documents that may impose economic costs in the billions of dollars on certain industries." The second piece of legislation is, however, not mentioned in the clip provided.
Representative Hageman is referring to the REINS Act of 2023 throughout her speech. This bill, according to the summary provided by the Congressional Research Service, would establish "a congressional approval process for a major rule. A major rule may only take effect if Congress approves of the rule. A major rule is a rule that has resulted in or is likely to result in (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises."