December 9, 2013

THE HILL: GOP touts campaign to blunt Obama’s executive powers.

House Republicans say they’re proud of their 2013 campaign to stymie President Obama’s regulatory agenda, even as Congress comes under fire for one of its least productive years.

The bitterly divided Congress will pass fewer laws in 2013 than any year in modern history. As a result of the gridlock, President Obama has turned to his administration’s regulatory authority in pursuit of key policy goals, including efforts to tackle gun violence and climate change.

While House Republicans have pinned the blame for Congress’ anemic legislative output on Senate Democrats, they make no bones about their efforts to blunt Obama’s rulemaking power.

“We’re left with no choice,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). “The president can’t just go it alone, that’s not who we are as a country.”

In interviews with The Hill, several House Republicans claimed momentum in the messaging battle over federal regulations, which they’ve portrayed as too overbearing and expensive under the Obama administration.

The conference has sought to put the president’s rulemaking agenda on trial in dozens of hearings convened in 2013 by Republican committee and subcommittee leaders.

That’s nice, but you also need the kind of blizzard of legal challenges, and accompanying PR, that Democrats would wage against a Republican doing the same thing.