Rep. Mary Peltola voted against a bill on Tuesday that requires the actual heads of agencies to personally sign off on most new regulations their agencies promulgate. H.R. 357, passed by a vote of to 218-203, with Peltola and all but three Democrats trying to block it.
Peltola’s two other co-chairs of the Blue Dog Democrat Coalition, a “moderate Democrat” coalition, voted in favor of the bill — Rep. Jared Golden of Maine and Rep. Marie Glusenkamp Perez of Washington. But Blue Dog co-chair Peltola voted “no” to the government accountability measure.
The bill requires, subject to a limited exception, “that any agency rule promulgated under notice and comment procedures must be issued and signed by an individual who was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.”
According to a 2019 study by the Pacific Legal Foundation, 98% of all rules that came out of the Food and Drug Administration between 2001 and 2017 were issued “illegally” by non-Senate confirmed officials. Other agencies had similar issues.
The study found that 25 of those rules had an economic impact of more than $100 million and that the FDA’s high incidence of rules issued by minor officials meant that more than 70% of all Health and Human Services Department rules were “unconstitutional.”
In 2021, Congress passed 143 laws, yet federal agencies issued 3,257 rules, which have an estimated cost of $1.927 trillion annually, or more than $14,684 per U.S. household annually.
Rep. Ben Cline’s, a Republican from Virginia, and Rep. Golden, a Maine Democrat, co-sponsored the Ensuring Accountability in Agency Rulemaking Act to provide greater accountability to taxpayers.
“For too long, costly regulatory burdens have been imposed by unelected career bureaucrats, rather than an individual confirmed by the Senate. That is unacceptable. Passage of this legislation on the House Floor is a step in the right direction to help rein in Washington bureaucrats’ overreach of power and ensure a government that is accountable to the American people,” Cline said.
The vast number of regulations and federal mandates cost 10% of America’s gross domestic product each year, Cline said.
“It’s simple: federal regulations should be made by officials who are accountable to the American people. House passage of this common-sense, bipartisan bill brings us one step closer to a more responsible and responsive government,” Rep. Golden said.
The bill will now head to the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.