Markup: H.R. 277, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act
Mr Johnson (LA):
I think that the American people are behind us here and I think they would support this amendment for certain, if they're paying attention and following what all this is about.
Here's the simple fact and I explain this in town halls back home all the time and I'm sure some of you do similar things, but we have to acknowledge that the federal government is way too big and it does way too many things and very little of what it does does it do.
Well, the administrative state has grown exponentially over the recent decades and it, as stated earlier, has consolidated governmental powers in the executive branch.
And what that's done then is it's usurped the proper and constitutional role of Congress.
Our article one authority over lawmaking and policy making and that consolidation of power has become really very dangerous.
It's created an administrative state that is out of control.
t's contrary to the separation of powers doctrine in our constitution, our matchless constitution and it diminishes the political accountability of the people who set policy.
If you have nameless, faceless bureaucrats who are effectively making law, they are by definition unaccountable.
We literally do not know who to hold accountable.
The people do not know who to hold accountable when you have bureaucrats making all the laws and that's effectively what's happened.
Now, Congress allowed this to happen over a series of decades as the power as you serve.
But it creates a real problem in our system.
Our, our matchless system that everybody around the world tries to emulate.
The reason it works so well is because we have separation of powers.
We have checks and balances as members of the house, we have to run for office every two years.
Because we're closest to the people, we have accountability.
If we don't do our jobs, well, then they'll send someone else to do it.
But we can't do that with the administrative state because we don't even know who they are.
And so by limiting this lowering the threshold to 50 million is an essential thing to do.
We're going to be 247 years old as a nation on July 4th, we are still a very young nation.
You know, if a high school civic student looks at 247 years, they think that's a life, that's an eternity.
But we know that's just a small speck on the span of human history and we don't know how long our constitutional Republic is going to endure.
The founders didn't know, but they said there are certain foundations that you have to maintain and the reason that they were so insistent about the checks and balances and the separation of powers is because they understood that all men are fallen and corrupt and that power corrupts.
And as Lord Acton said, absolute power corrupts.
We are veering towards absolute corruption in the administrative state.
That is why so many agencies in our, in our weaponization select Committee.
Why we're so busy because so many of the agencies that were designed to protect and serve the American people have been turned against them and are being used against the very citizens they're supposed to serve.
How did that happen?
It's because we allowed our article one authority to be served.
So the Reins Act is essential.
I think this threshold of 50 million is very reasonable.
And I would just close by reminding us of the words of John Adams.
He said, you know, explaining the difference between us and what was happening in the monarchy and in Great Britain, he said, you know, we're a nation of laws not of men.
It's the rule of law that defines who we are.
That's why our system works so well
And as the great evangelist Charles Spurgeon said, the best of men are but men at best, we better maintain this system of checks and balances.
And I think this would be a really, really important step to prevent this death by 1000 little cuts of our liberty and our oversight and allowing the government to grow so out of control, we wouldn't have a $31.8 trillion federal debt if Congress was more involved in these decisions.
And so I'm in full support of this amendment.
I think everybody should.
And I think, as I said, at the outset, if the American people understood and were following this argument, they would absolutely be in favor of the Biggs Amendment.
So with that, I yield back.