‘Bureaucrats Need A Reminder’: GOP Senator Introduces Legislation To Rein In ‘Administrative State’

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Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa introduced three bills Wednesday to reform the federal bureaucracy, saying that many who work for the government “need a reminder” about their purpose.

The bills would reform the bureaucracy by moving agencies out of the Washington, D.C., area and establish a commission to reduce the burden of regulations on Americans. The legislative package also includes a bill to address abuses of telework, which Ernst raised as an issue in August, citing a number of instances where federal employees played golf or attended happy hours when they were supposed to be working.  (RELATED: ‘Believe It Now’: Kayleigh McEnany Says Hunter Biden Laptop Letter Proves ‘Deep State’ Is Real)


BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JUNE 12: U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) speaks during the third installment of The Senate Project with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) moderated by FOX News Channel’s chief political anchor Bret Baier at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on June 12, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

“Biden’s bureaucrats are writing regulations and bogging down households, family farms, and small businesses with arbitrary rules,” Ernst said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’m draining the swamp and reining in the administrative state that has run unchecked at the taxpayer’s expense. Bureaucrats need a reminder of exactly who they are serving. That’s why I’m working to get government beyond the beltway bubble, scrub regulations, and hold unelected bureaucrats accountable.”

The bills Ernst introduced include the Strategic Withdrawal of Agencies for Meaningful Placement (SWAMP) Act, which would move the headquarters of government agencies outside of Washington, D.C.; the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, which calls for a commission that would seek to reduce the burden of federal regulations by 15%; and the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act, which would address the issues raised with telework.

Ernst cited a media account of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee who attended a staff meeting while taking a bubble bath as one of her reasons for seeking to reform the use of telework for federal agencies. The Biden administration proposed new regulations on water heaters in July, following an effort earlier this year to regulate gas stoves.

Congress passed a resolution disapproving of new regulations on the trucking industry, which were 80% stricter than current standards, in May, but President Biden vetoed the resolution, claiming the resolution “would take us backwards in our fight against air pollution.” Economic and energy experts have criticized Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production, which some say has caused higher energy prices.

“There’s no denying Washington’s administrative state is unresponsive to the needs of real Americans,” Ernst told the DCNF. “I’ve had enough of Biden’s bureaucrats writing regulations and bogging down households, family farms, and small businesses with arbitrary rules. That’s why I’m working to get government beyond the beltway bubble, bring decision-making closer to Americans, scrub regulations, and hold unelected bureaucrats accountable. Washington, consider this your final wake-up call: the swamp is about to be drained.”

Ernst also signed on to an amicus brief in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a case pending before the Supreme Court that could end the so-called “Chevron doctrine.” The “Chevron doctrine” requires courts to grant a level of deference to administrative actions, according to Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute.

The White House did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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