New bill focuses on checks, balances in Legislative, Executive branches

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Senator Roger Marshall has helped to introduce legislation that would provide further checks and balances in the Legislative and Executive branches.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says he recently introduced a bill alongside Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.) that would close loopholes in federal laws which he claims the Biden Administration has exploited. He said the current loopholes diminish the role of Congress in serving as a check against the power of the President.

Marshall said the Checks and Balances Act would amend the Congressional Review Act to ensure task forces are subject to a resolution of disapproval. Additionally, he said the bill would clarify that agency decisions on behalf of the President are also bound by a CRA.

“The Checks and Balances Act would be a significant measure to rein in the Biden Administration, which is imposing tyrannical dictates on the American people through unelected ‘task forces.’ I’m thankful to Senator Sullivan for leading on this legislation to enforce a degree of adherence by the Biden White House to the law and Constitution which it constantly dismisses,” Marshall said.

Marshall noted that the legislation stems from a recent decision by the Government Accountability Office that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on federal contractors was not subject to a CRA resolution of disapproval due to the executive order direction at the “Safe Federal Workforce Task Force” and not a federal agency.

While a federal agency was involved in the finalization of the rule, the Senator said the GAO found the Office of Management and Budget acted on behalf of the President and not as a federal agency when it approved the mandate.

“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. 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,” Sullivan said. “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 and ensure no President can ever again abuse the limited authority granted them by the Constitution of the United States.”

In September 2021, Marshall said President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate on federal contractors. While other employee mandates had been subject to be overturned under the CRA, he said it was unclear if the federal contractor mandate qualified for a CRA resolution of disapproval.

In October 2021, Sullivan said he led a letter to President Biden which requested an end to the mandate for private employees and federal contractors. He said he later contacted the GAO to see if the CRA was applicable to the vaccine mandate for federal workers. He noted that the GAO said no for two reasons:

  1. The EO was directed to a task force and not to an agency.
  2. When OMB approved the recommendation made by the task force, they acted on behalf of the President and not as an agency.

Marshall said the new legislation would close both of those loopholes.

In 2020, Marshall also noted that Congress and former President Donald Trump worked in a bipartisan way to find an agreement to provide economic relief for American businesses as long as they kept their employees. He said the action taken by Biden’s administration undermined that effort.

Marshall said the CRA can be used by Congress to overturn certain regulations and actions through a joint resolution of disapproval. He said if a CRA joint resolution is approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President – or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto – the rule at issue is invalidated.

To read the full text of the legislation, click HERE.

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