Today’s Congressional Review Act Restores the Separation of Powers |

This is about more than repealing a bad regulation. This is about reining in federal bureaucrats and restoring the separation of powers.

In 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a private company over the Department of Labor in a suit about an alleged recordkeeping violation—and it did so for one, very specific reason: that citation was beyond the six month window to file such complaints, as defined by law.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Congress authorized the Department of Labor to issue citations to private companies for violating recordkeeping regulations. However, the law is clear: this period must be limited within the last six months of the citation. This protects private companies from potential crusades by bureaucrats in Washington.

But instead of adhering to the court’s decision and the law written by Congress, the Obama administration sought to expand its authority—unlawfully. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a new rule in December, which extended the statutory limit to five years—effectively overturning the court’s decision.

As Speaker Ryan has said many times, the Constitution is clear: Congress writes laws, not the president or the executive branch.

What we have here is an agency simultaneously going around Congress and overturning a federal court’s decision. Not exactly the separation of powers the Framers had in mind. Furthermore, the rule would make millions of American businesses easy targets for federal agencies—while doing nothing to protect American workers.

That’s why we are using the Congressional Review Act to repeal this Obama-era rule. It’s time to restore the separation of powers and protect American businesses from overzealous bureaucrats.

NOTE: Take stock of our current CRA action-to-date here.