WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — A Republican Congressman used a hearing on December 1 to bring attention to the “egregious abuses of power” undertaken by the Biden White House.
U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina raised concerns during a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the law that lays out how regulations should be promulgated.
“There’s this multi-layered potentially undermining of the constitutional structure embedded in the APA,” Bishop said during the hearing last Wednesday. He said he could summarize the problems as a “concentration of power in a legislative enforcement and adjudicative power in one place in the agency as opposed to the Madisonian design.”
“The founders were careful to separate power and create separate parts of government vying against each other [because] it insulates a lot of federal policy, maybe the primary generator of federal policy, from democratic control,” Congressman Bishop said.
One example, Rep. Bishop said, is President Biden’s use of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that mandated vaccines or weekly testing on employees of private businesses. That mandate is currently pending litigation and cannot be enforced while it works its way through the courts.
“Presidents increasingly resort to the form of regulatory rulemaking and order issuing mechanisms to ascribe a patina of legitimacy to the most egregious abuses of power,” Bishop said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, under both Presidents Trump and Biden, claimed the power to issue a nationwide moratorium on evictions.
Bishop raised the issue of Biden “ordering an eviction moratorium extension after the Supreme Court had said it couldn’t be done.”
The Biden administration has also used “informal guidance” that lacks the “procedural protections” of the rule-making process, Bishop said. “That’s very troubling to me.”
Civil liberties attorney warns that Biden administration is pursuing ‘shadow lawmaking’
This is not the first time the White House has been accused of abusing the rule of law.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ignored the timeline for a public comment period in September when it released regulations that would require all health insurance customers to subsidize abortions.
An attorney with the conservative-leaning Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) warned that the HHS wants to “return to shadow lawmaking” in an opinion piece published Monday. The Trump administration released new policies in January 2020 that sought to rein in the use of “guidance” and to strengthen the rights of citizens and associations to comment on proposed regulations, but the current White House wants to roll those back.
“Millions of people directly or indirectly regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be adversely affected if the agency follows the president’s order and returns to shadow lawmaking,” Adi Dynar with PLF wrote in a piece for The Hill.
“By proposing a repeal of the rules, HHS intends to overrule or ignore binding law,” Dynar said. “Such agency action is unconstitutional.”
“HHS issues rules and guidance documents that affect everyone,” Dynar said. “We are talking of the nation’s health care agency, which includes the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“The least that HHS can do is maintain a transparent rulemaking procedure that is open and accessible to the public,” Dynar said. “Why operate in the shadows at all? It is right for Americans to expect their government to tell them what it is up to, obtain public input, and only then change the rules of the game.”
The FDA recently asked a federal judge to allow a delay of vaccine safety data from Pfizer until 2076, as previously reported by LifeSiteNews.