Robert Hurt: Checking the Obama administration’s final push at executive Overreach

robert hurtPresident Obama’s tenure in office will long be remembered for his administration’s aggressive attempts to expand executive power at the expense of the legislature, the judiciary, and ultimately the American people.  Despite the resounding results of the election, the Obama Administration is planning to impose numerous regulations in the final hours of his term, ranging from regulations on air quality, doctors prescribing treatments for Medicare patients, and the admission of immigrant workers, just to name a few.

As many as 98 final regulations under review at the White House as of last week could be implemented before President-elect Trump takes office.  These frantic proposals are being described as one last attempt to leave behind some semblance of a legacy, but there are serious consequences at stake.  These new so-called “midnight” regulations are estimated to have an economic impact of $113 billion, yet they are being rushed through at the last minute just to score a few last political points for the President.  The American people sent a loud and clear message for change in the election.  They do not want one last display of unilateral executive power nor yet another burden placed on our sputtering economy.

That is why the House recently passed The Midnight Rules Relief Act, which offers a simple and powerful means to stop the problem of abusive midnight rules for good. This bill creates a rapid-response method for Congress to overturn an outgoing Administration’s attempts to impose major regulations without appropriate transparency and scrutiny. The bill specifically allows Congress to overturn multiple midnight rules thereby empowering Congress to more quickly stop the rules that are truly problematic.  Rules that defy the message sent by the voters or rules that have been poorly and hastily designed have no place on the books.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act would serve as a check on any president. It is truly a better way to govern.  Implementing various rules and regulations that help protect families, workers, and our environment are an important part of the federal government’s job. However, these must be done in an open, transparent way with a focus on smart, common sense actions, not on the way out the door. Putting costly, partisan regulations on the docket in the final hour does a disservice to the American people. Time and again we have seen President Obama push his agenda via executive action rather than engaging the Congress and his lack of engaging leadership has done immeasurable damage to our system of government. It is my hope that the President will heed the will that the people expressed in the election and abandon these ill-conceived last ditch efforts, particularly when he knows Congress is ready to undo any such acts as quickly as possible.

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596

Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District of Virginia in Congress.


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