Trump Discovers Secret Trick That Could Shatter D.C. Forever

  • 2018-04-05
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN
Trump Discovers Secret Trick That Could Shatter D.C. Forever
White House (Public Domain)
President Donald Trump’s drive to “Drain The Swamp” may get a huge boost thanks to an arcane rule buried deep within a two-decades-old trade bill. 

That’s because a coalition of conservative leaders have found a way to strip federal agencies of their ability to pass new regulations, using a rule buried in the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

The “REINS Act,” introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) strips federal agencies of their power to make up and enforce their own regulations, by requiring any proposed rule costing more than $100 million be approved by Congress and signed by the President. 

It would permanently end a long-standing practice in Washington in which liberal legislation too radical to be approved by Congress is instead rebranded a “regulation” and enforced as law.

A version has already passed the House, and Trump plans to sign it. A planned Senate Democrat filibuster, which requires 60 votes to break, is the only thing stopping Congress from stripping agencies of the power to make up and enforce their own laws without the approval of Congress. 

But if the REINS Act were to be written into NAFTA negotiations, it would need only 50 votes, with Vice President Mike Pence holding the tiebreaker. 

Now, conservative leaders have signed a joint letter to Trump, urging him to adopt the REINS Act as language in a renegotiated NAFTA. 

"Incorporating this package into NAFTA would allow you to submit it to the Senate under fast-track Trade Promotion Authority, protected from filibuster. The package would strengthen the core objectives of the NAFTA renegotiation by assuring a more stable, business-friendly regulatory environment, making it more attractive for companies to invest and create jobs in the United States," the letter read. 

Without the REINS Act, efforts to stop overregulation and the use of regulations to enact rules too radical for Congress has been blocked.

A recent example is the Obama administration’s “Waters of the United States” rule, which radically expanded the reach of the 1974 Clean Water Act. 

The Clean Water Act gave the federal government the power to regulate any activity that would pollute “the waters of the United States,” which the Act defined as a “navigable waterway.” That limited the EPA to only regulating rivers, lakes, bays, and oceans. 

Liberal groups, seeing the Clean Water Act as a vehicle that could give them total control over all private land, immediately began introducing bills to redefine “the waters of the United States” as any land that is wet, that could hold water, or that could become wet. 

But such legislation was so radical, and such as massive power grab, that over the 40 years it was introduced, no Democrat-led Congress ever passed it. Democrats realized it was so far-left, it would cost them next election. 

That’s when the Obama administration, using the unchecked power of the regulatory state, took the radical bill, called it an “EPA rule” and began the process of enforcing it as law – without the consent of Congress. 

If Trump takes the advice of conservative leaders and includes the REINS Act in NAFTA negotiations, it would shatter the regulatory state and end decades of liberal rule through decree. 

Passing the REINS Act as a trade rule could be the single most consequential achievement of Trump’s presidency.
 Source: AAN
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