First, Kill All the Non-Legislator Legislators

George Will outlines what I think is a very possible battleplan for the incoming Congress. It consists of enacting the following:

  • Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (empowered by Dodd-Frank)
  • Get rid of the Independent Payment Advisory Board empowered by the PPACA
  • Repeal the PPACA’s tax on medical devices
  • Authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Mandate completion of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility
  • Enact the REINS act

I wasn’t familiar with that last. Here’s how he describes it:

It would require that any regulation with at least a $100 million annual impact on the economy — there are approximately 200 of them in the pipeline — be approved without amendments by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by the president. “In effect,” writes the Hudson Institute’s Christopher DeMuth, “major agency rules would become legislative proposals with fast-track privileges.” By requiring legislative complicity in especially heavy federal burdens, REINS is an ingredient in the recipe for resuscitating Congress, which has been far too eager to cede legislative responsibilities to the executive branch.

I don’t see nearly enough about strengthening the economy in that list but my impression is that most of those have bipartisan support and considerable popular support. The actual list could be a lot worse and probably will be.

14 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    I don’t like the sound of REINS. It appears to assume that Congress will respond with restraint by the new dynamic. I see Congress still finding it easiest to pass the lawmaking responsibilities to executive agencies and then being comfortable validating those “expert” laws.

  • Go Yucca Mountain!

    And I like the sound of REINS Act. Make them SOBs put their names, and potentially careers, on the line instead of a bunch of faceless unaccountable bureaucrats. Almost 4% of Congressmen get fired every couple of years, which is a damn site more impressive than federal bureaucratic firing rates, I’d guess.

  • And no, there isn’t anything in there about fundamental improvements to the economy, because the fixes needed would require going against Congress’s own interests.

  • jan Link

    Changing flawed aspects of the PPACA and Dodd Frank would definitely be positive moves for a Republican Congress to address. Approving the Keystone pipeline would have a double advantage of adding jobs and improving our relationship with Canada. Moving forward on the already designated nuclear waste storage facility in Nevada is another example of moving through politically-motivated NIMBY inaction. The REINS Act I have no opinion on.

    What’s most encouraging, though, about George Will’s suggestions is that new legislation, new solutions to a lagging economy, at least will have the opportunity of being openly considered, with the possibility of enactment. This is very different from the environment of the past 6 years, where republican ideas had zero influence in democratic policy-making. It was only through the exercise of resistance (labeled obstructive by the dems), of the House-controlled branch of Congress, that socially progressive spending habits were able to be tempered. These same brakes, applied by the House during budgetary deal-making sessions, largely facilitated the decrease experienced in deficit spending, but touted by the dems as their own accomplishment during the recent midterm elections.

  • CStanley Link

    I like a lot of what Senator Lee says here:

  • PD Shaw Link

    @CStanley, I’ll have to read the link later, but the few paragraphs underscore what I heard Tuesday night — Republicans saying they have no mandate because they didn’t run on anything in particular.

  • mike shupp Link

    Also, nobody in the USA really needs more than one gun, and the ATF people ought to have absolute authority to enter your house and confiscate any excess weapons they find. That’s just sensible, as we all agree.

    Also also. teen aged girls are entitled to abortion-on-demand, without any nonsense about age or parental authorization. Let freedom ring!

    These are both more likely to happen than using Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste storage. Or doesn’t FORTY YEARS of resistence to the idea suggest anything at all to “conservatives?”

    A small. reasonably practical idea for dealing with nuclear wastes:
    pack the stuff to the gunwhals on ready-for-the-scrapeheap ships and sink them in the Mindanao trench at some point where subduction will carry them under the Pacific plate. It’ll take about 35 million years before the slag emerges offshore California, and I suspect there won’t be much radioactivity left to worry about then. But this would reduce the fun nuclear power proponents and opponents have screaming at each other, so it’ll never happen.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Why do we need a safe place to store nuclear waste? Tar-sand generated oil sounds much scarier.

  • PD, you don’t just want to get rid of the stuff, as shupp suggests. What if you need to create and/or feed a giant fire-breathing mutant lizard in the future? You never know when you’re about to be attacked by crazie space-men and their giant three-headed flying monster until it happens. Best to plan ahead.

    So you don’t want to waste it. And you also don’t want to leave it lying about everywhere because then you end up having to answer the one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses question all too frequently, for realsies.

    So Yucca Mountain because SCIENCE, bitchez!

  • PD Shaw Link

    Speaking of science-fiction fantasy, inquiring minds want to read Ellipses’ response to this from Obama:

    “To two-thirds of voters that chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”

    He’s your man, right? He understands you to your Godzilla-obsessed core.

  • ... Link

    He gets me like a burst hemorrhoid.

  • ... Link

    But I cannot be brought low tonight. Tonight, I fixed the freezer in my refrigerator. Ultimate cost was about $100 for parts and a lot of aggravation learning how everything went together and worked (or in this case, didn’t work), but I did it. Which means we have a working refrigerator that is QUIET, and that we do not have to buy another one. (Happened to be in a lucky spot pay cycle-wise, and had the hundred to spare. Four weeks ago that wouldn’t have been possible.)

    And it means I don’t have to partially disassemble the freezer after every defrost cycle to manually spin the fan up to speed. I can take that thing apart with professional-like speed now.

    Where repair guys get you is with the expertise of knowing what’s wrong. If you know what’s wrong, repairs usually fall into two categories: easy, or impossible.

    But I did it. Now to see if there are any Godzilla movies on somewhere. It is Thanksgiving season, after all….

  • steve Link

    Ending the CFPA? More money for the highest paid in the financial sector. I am sure they need it. End the IPA? Replaced by what to address medical costs? More GOP efforts like adding Medicare Part D? (On the plus side, since I now spend an incredible amount of time trying to find ways to cut costs I guess I could stop that effort.) Drop the tax on medical devices? Good for the execs of those companies. Authorize XL? Good for the Canadians. Yucca? Really? Ok, I guess revenge on Reid should be a top party objective.


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