Smith Statement on Separation of Powers Restoration Act

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the passage of the Separation of Powers Restoration Act:

July 13, 2016

“Congress has the very serious responsibility of addressing the challenges our country faces with rational policy solutions. We are tasked with the duty of developing legislation that creates broad-based opportunities for all, grows our economy, and keeps our country strong and forward-looking, while making government work better for everyone.

“Unfortunately, House Republican leadership chose to spend large portions of Monday and Tuesday of this week debating and voting on the deceptively named Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016, H.R. 4768. While H.R. 4768 claims to restore the separation of powers, it in fact subverts it by forcing the judicial system to wade into the executive rule-making process. H.R. 4768 would undo decades of judicial precedent established by the Supreme Court, where courts defer to the expertise of government agencies when reviewing challenges to Federal Agency actions. The legislation would open up all agency actions and rules to challenges that could make the rule-making process exceptionally lengthy and render it ineffective, while overly-burdening government agencies with unnecessary record keeping and data recording. Instead of ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent in the most efficient and effective manner, the bill would vastly increase the cost to the taxpayer of agency rule-making. Additionally, the bill will have the adverse effect of trapping critical consumer protections in a web of judicial reviews that would make passage of an agency rule almost impossible.

“The historical practice of courts deferring to agency expertise was established for good reason, and has been proven effective. Rather than wasting time on pushing through an unnecessary solution in search of a problem, I encourage my Republican colleagues to instead focus on improving the lives of Americans.”