House Republicans push for federal agency rule overhaul

WASHINGTON — After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Chevron’s priority rule a week ago, House Republican leaders continue to push for a reconsideration of federal agency regulations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service.

The committee chairmen expect to send letters to agency heads, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, after Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo thing.

“This week, House Republican committees are sending letters to the appropriate federal agencies to request a review of various far-reaching regulations in our fight to free the American people from a power-hungry administrative state,” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.). “Agencies cannot be allowed to operate freely without any checks on their authority—we have seen federal agencies abuse their authority so often. We intend to ensure that agencies are held accountable when the courts rule and that they abide by the proper checks on their authority.”

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pennsylvania) sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlining his committee’s intentions following the ruling.

“It should come as no surprise that Chevron has unleashed decades of yet more sweeping, costly, and intrusive assertions of agency authority over the lives, liberty, and property of citizens, as agencies have adopted broad interpretations of supposedly ambiguous statutes, demanding that courts follow them,” Thompson wrote in the letter. “Perhaps no administration has gone as far as President Biden to establish sweeping and intrusive agency dictates regarding such questionable assertions of agency authority. The Biden administration has promulgated far more significant regulations, at far greater cost and paperwork burdens, than any of its recent predecessor administrations.”

Thompson noted that the commission will use its broad investigatory and rulemaking powers not only to firmly reassert its Article I obligations but also to ensure that the Biden administration adheres to the limits placed on its powers by the Supreme Court’s Loper Bright ruling.

Senior Member Pushes for Progress on Farm Bill

During a separate investigation on Capitol Hill this week, Representative David Scott (Democrat of Georgia), ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, urged Thompson and GOP leaders to bring the farm bill to a vote in the House before the hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The commission adopted the latest version of the agriculture bill at the end of May.

“I must express my deep concern about Chairman Thompson’s willingness to abandon the farm bill,” Scott said in his opening remarks. “His persistent refusal to engage in a bipartisan farm bill is irresponsible to the American people, especially our farmers who feed, fuel, clothe and house our nation. There has been no progress on Chairman Thompson’s partisan bill since the divisive passage of the bill almost two months ago. This delay is hurting the American people, especially in our rural communities where our farms are located. And it is instilling uncertainty in our nation’s economies, both rural and urban. His willingness to delay the bill in order to play election-year politics is selfish and disrespectful to our farmers. They are counting on us to pass a bipartisan farm bill.”