NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 4768, the “Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA).” This legislation would limit the authority of executive agencies by giving federal courts the clarity needed to interpret powers that have been ambiguously delegated by Congress.
Over time, as regulatory agency authority over both legislative matters and our economy has grown, it has become increasingly difficult for taxpayers to seek recourse in the courts from burdensome regulations. Precedents set by Chevron USA Inc. v. NRDC and Auer v. Robbins had the courts defer to agencies in the interpretation of their own statutes and regulations. This has allowed agencies to use ambiguous laws to expand their authority as long as the interpretation is deemed reasonable by the courts. In turn, the power of federal agencies has grown unabated, without a proper check by judicial and legislative branches.
This precedent has led to the enactment of sweeping regulations by federal agencies, rather than an act of Congress. For instance, the Environmental Protection agency cited the Chevron case in an attempt to avoid judicial review of its costly Clean Power Plan, a broad reinterpretation of the Clean Air Act.
By amending the Administrative Procedure Act to require courts to conduct a review of relevant questions of law and regulation, H.R. 4768 would reinstate the courts to their fundamental role as the interpreters of these statutes for agencies. This would help prevent further abuse of power by unaccountable bureaucrats.
Roll call votes on H.R. 4768 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700