EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Byron Donalds Moves To Curb Biden’s Regulatory Overreach

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds introduced a slate of bills on Wednesday targeting regulatory overreach from federal agencies.

Donalds’ four bills are intended to make agency rulemaking and regulatory processes more transparent and use the threat of budget cuts as enforcement. The Biden administration has made extensive use of rules and regulations in order to circumvent a divided Congress. In response, Republicans have passed Congressional Review Act resolutions in bids to roll them back.

“The Biden administration has pursued an out-of-touch, far-left agenda, that has harmed our markets with aggressive and dismissive rule-making policy,” Donalds said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “Now more than ever, Congressional oversight of our exceedingly complacent and restrictive federal bureaucracy is crucial. I am proud to introduce the first four bills of my 2023-24 accountability legislative package, to demand transparency, compliance, and order from the otherwise non-compliant Washington swamp.”

Read the bills here:

SIR Act by Michael Ginsberg on Scribd

Agency Subpoena Compliance Act by Michael Ginsberg on Scribd

Agency Accountability Through Appropriations Act by Michael Ginsberg on Scribd

No Altering Public Comments Act by Michael Ginsberg on Scribd

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, which the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Labor promote, has become a particular target of Republicans’ ire. The SEC is currently finalizing a rule that would require companies to provide wide-ranging risk assessments of how severe weather and extreme temperatures could impact their businesses. The Labor Department recently instituted a rule allowing retirement fund managers to consider ESG factors when investing.

Donalds’ SIR Act takes direct aim at the SEC, requiring the agency to “take into account the estimated cost to specific industries of complying with multiple rules.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Chamber Of Commerce Pledges Lawsuit Over ‘Outrageous’ Environmental Rule)

The Florida congressman’s other bills target the administrative state as a whole. The Agency Subpoena Compliance Act requires the president to submit a report detailing each subpoena a federal agency receives during the fiscal year and whether and how the agency complied. If the agency does not comply with duly issued subpoenas, it can lose federal funding “in the amount equal to a half of a percent for each lawfully issued congressional subpoena that was not complied with.”

Republicans have repeatedly expressed frustration with cabinet-level agencies slow-walking congressional subpoenas. The House Oversight and Government Accountability Committee recently threatened FBI Director Christopher Wray with a contempt of Congress charge after the bureau initially withheld a document related to a bribery investigation targeting President Joe Biden. Secretary of State Antony Blinken received a similar threat from the House Foreign Affairs Committee after he tried to avoid producing a dissent cable from diplomats in Afghanistan.