- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The government can regulate the nation in subtle ways according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is now warning against “regulatory dark matter,” a phenomenon that “devours” the economy, jobs and much more.

On the sly, federal regulators are implementing new restrictions on Americans business via guidance documents, memoranda and even blog posts, enacting rules while skirting the formal regulatory process.

The regulators are, in fact, “dodging legally required checks and balances,” according to lead author Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the nonprofit organization. He says the practice is akin to the Obama administration’s pesky habit of imposing unilateral executive actions.

“President Obama has been deservedly criticized for unilateral executive actions that are dreadnoughts of rule-without-Congress. But federal agency guidance documents, memoranda and other regulatory dark matter swell ominously, often out of sight,” Mr. Crews writes.

Legislators should be paying attention.

“Congress needs to focus on the secretive ‘regulatory dark matter’ used by federal agencies to enact new policies and rules,” says Mr. Crews, who notes that over a third of agency rules are issued without a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

Among many things, Mr. Crews recommends that agency actions and programs not authorized by Congress be defunded while “vaguely worded laws” should be amended or repealed altogether.

Find his thoughts here.

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