In Monty Python’s immortal words I’m not dead, yet; but I don’t have much insight into the new political era, either. I therefore commend to your attention a sensational essay by someone who does: “Regulatory Reform,” by Christopher C. DeMuth. One of Chris’s best pieces ever, and that is saying something. Under a cheekily acronymed REFORM Act (Referrals from the Executive For Regulatory Modernization):
[T]he president would refer selected regulatory reforms to the House and Senate and urge their prompt consideration and approval. Where an agency rule departed from a reasonably clear statutory provision, or from judicial interpretations of a broad or ambiguous provision, the agency would explain the departure and the reasons for its new approach. The reasons could not, for the REFORM procedure, be sheer policy preference—rather, they would be limited to improving the agency’s pursuit of the missions Congress had already assigned to it. […] Congress would approve the rule itself, not just its issuance. And, in cases of uncertain statutory authority, the submitted rule would be accompanied by suggested, surgical statutory revisions, and Congress could enact the revisions along with its approval of the implementing rule.
With characteristic verve, sophistication, and political horse sense, DeMuth explains how and why this might actually work, and why it would be a very good thing.