WTLA-Background
Issue Background

Write the Laws Act

Tell your elected reps to introduce Downsize DC's "Write the Laws Act" (WTLA) 

Examples of Why We Need WTLA

  • The "Occupational Safety and Health Administration" (OSHA) now makes rules governing workplace safety. It then enforces those rules through investigations followed by judgments and fines. Under the WTLA Congress would actually write any new job safety rules, not OSHA.
     
  • Likewise, Congress would have to be specific in its definition of "obscene" broadcasting. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could not write any new rules defining obscenity.
     
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would have no power to impose new bans on food and drugs at the market. It could only investigate and prosecute alleged cases of unsafe products.

 Additional Information:

  • Lew Rockwell has a classic piece from September 1990 on the Regulatory-Industrial Complex. It shows how these regulatory agencies cater to big business and punish smaller firms.
  • This article is a brief history of the Federal Register, the daily record of what the President and administrative agencies are doing "for" and to you. The first issue, published in 1936, was sixteen pages; today an issue averages over 250 pages, and is published daily. 
  • This article provides a good overview of the regulatory process.  
  • This article explains the harm done by regulations to small businesses.  
  • This article provides powerful guidelines for how to think about regulation. 
  • This article gives an example showing how history has been distorted to justify federal regulation. 
  • This article shows how federal regulations have made us 75% poorer.

 

This bill would fix a major constitutional violation

Only Congress has the Constitutional power to impose regulations. But Congress has delegated much of that power to Executive Branch agencies. Those agencies impose thousands of rules on you, none of which Congress...

  • Wrote
  • Read
  • Debated
  • Approved

This is a clear violation of the Constitutional separation of powers. Downsize DC's “Write the Laws Act” (WTLA) fixes this problem. WTLA requires that . . .

  • Every rule imposed on you must be written and passed solely by Congress, with no details left to bureaucrats.
  • Citizens must be held blameless against any rules created in violation of this requirement.
  • Congress must identify previous grants of legislative power to bureaucrats so that they can be repealed.

You can read the full text of WTLA here.

So what’s the excuse for not passing WTLA?

Politicians claim they lack the expertise to craft so many rules. We agree. They lack expertise. But it doesn’t matter. They can hire any experts they need. They can even use Executive Branch bureaucrats, just so long as Congress writes the final rules, reads them, debates them, and then votes to approve or reject them. 

Congress shirks these responsibilities because the politicians wouldn't be nearly as powerful if they actually had to do their jobs. They couldn't spend as much money, reward as many friends, punish as many enemies, and control as much of your life. That's why DownsizeDC.org has written the "Write the Laws Act" as a companion bill to our "Read the Bills Act," and our "One Subject at a Time Act." 

Tell your elected reps to introduce Downsize DC’s “Write the Laws Act.” Your letter to Congress will...

  • Be counted by each Congressional office,
  • Educate the Congressional staffer who reads it,
  • Sometimes be passed up the chain of command,
  • Sometimes receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us at Comments@DownsizeDC.org.

Don’t forget to send your letter to Congress!