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HYDE-SMITH, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE ‘CHECKS & BALANCES ACT’
Legislation Would End Loopholes Used by President to Circumvent Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Thursday joined U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and others to introduce legislation to close loopholes that the Biden administration has used to diminish the constitutional role of Congress in serving as a check on presidential power.
The Checks and Balances Act (S.4427) would amend the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to ensure that “task forces” are subject to a resolution of disapproval. The measure would also clarify that agency decisions on behalf of the President are also bound by a CRA, which established an expedited process for Congress to consider joint resolutions of disapproval to invalidate certain federal agency regulations.
“People should be alarmed by the fact that a presidential task force has any power to issue mandates and edicts that can destroy the livelihoods of average workers. It’s just not right,” Hyde-Smith said. “I appreciate Senator Sullivan taking the lead on legislation to close a loophole that is being exploited by this administration in order to protect the constitutional role of checks and balances in our government.”
In September 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order mandating COVID-19 vaccines for federal contractors, whose employees were subject to termination if they refused the vaccine. Hyde-Smith and others filed a CRA challenge to the mandate on private employees, and Sullivan asked GAO to determine whether the CRA could be used to challenge the President’s vaccine mandates.
Sullivan authored the Checks and Balances Act following a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) determination that a CRA resolution of disapproval does not apply to President Biden’s vaccine mandate on federal contractors because Biden’s executive Order was directed at the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force and not a federal agency.
“Our country’s system of government, guided by the Constitution, was founded on the basic principle that no one branch of government should ever accumulate too much power. The power always remains with the people who elect us to represent them. For this very reason, we have a system of checks and balances set up to prevent unilateral power grabs such as the President’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates,” said Sullivan. “These mandates are not supported by the Constitution or statute, and have negatively impacted our nation’s workforce—forcing contractors to fire employees who are responsible for some very important work. Congress has a duty to check the President’s power in this area, which is why today I am introducing legislation to close these loopholes in the law to ensure no President can ever again abuse the limited authority granted them by the Constitution of the United States.”
Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) also cosponsored the measure.
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