Citizens are justifiably frustrated by government agencies that seem to create new laws without any authority or accountability; but, is there a solution?
You know the problem:
- Federal and state agencies, which are so powerful they literally ignore the U.S. Congress or state legislatures and revise long-standing laws to fit social agendas that voters never sanctioned;
- Courts that redefine marriage and create new constitutional “rights” out of whole cloth; and
- Executives who bypass constitutions, laws and voters to create their own ideologically driven policies.
We’ve outlined some of these anti-democratic trends in our nation in “What Happened to ‘We, the People’?”
We’ve addressed the problem of activist judges and the importance of elections elsewhere.
But how do you fix a broken bureaucracy? Heads of government agencies are political appointees — not elected officials. The people who work for such agencies are also not elected. All 2.79 million of them! In other words, you may ask, “How are they accountable to ‘We, the People’?”
In order to address this question, let’s look at the recent problems created at the national level by federal agencies (see “Bloated Bureaucracy” box).
The problems created by an out-of-control bureaucracy are patently obvious. Yet, the question remains: How can voters impact these agencies and stop their lawlessness?
Solution: Your Vote Can Help Check The Power of Such Agencies
Our numerous federal agencies (and their state-level equivalents) may appear to be unaccountable to voters since they are run by political appointees and unelected government employees. And, they control and disburse vast amounts of taxpayer funds, giving them enormous power. However, their policies are not immune from the consequences of elections.
The genius of the Founders in creating our constitutional framework (which is mostly duplicated at the state level) resulted in a system characterized by the “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” that come into play to prevent the accumulation of power in any single branch of government (executive, legislative or judicial) and the resulting excesses and abuses such power would create. The Founders also envisioned that “We, the People” would be the ultimate “check and balance” on government overreach, whenever we vote for a President or members of Congress.
How Your Vote Works With Agency ‘Checks and Balances’
First, Congress (via elected senators and representatives) can reverse agency policies, and/or defund or eliminate government agencies through legislation. However, the President must be on board with what Congress desires to do, or his veto acts as a “check” against the congressional action. The President has the most control over agencies, as he nominates (and ultimately appoints) the heads of those agencies and thereby influences their activities and policies to a great extent. But the U.S. Senate acts as a “check” on radical appointments, because it is charged under the “Advice and Consent” clause of the U.S. Constitution with confirming or rejecting such Presidential appointments to serve as agency heads. The same procedures typically apply to state government agencies, legislatures and governors, as well.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, misusing its authority granted under ObamaCare to define “preventive” care for insurance policies, ordered most employers, including religious ones, to provide contraceptives – including possible abortion-causing drugs – to their employees, which in many cases violated the conscience rights and religious beliefs of those employers.
- The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) sent a joint warning to every school district in the country, instructing them to allow gender-confused boys and girls to use the restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities of their choice, even if that meant using the facilities designated for the opposite sex. If schools object and decline to comply, they risk losing billions of dollars in federal education funding.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) declared that the definition of “sex discrimination” under federal employment non-discrimination law now includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” This despite the fact that Congress has refused many times to amend the law in this way. The EEOC is now using the courts to attempt to get activist judges to “amend” the federal law by judicial fiat. What was once (and still should be) a law designed to protect women from discrimination in the workplace has now become a pretext to push a radical sexual agenda not approved by Congress.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now requires municipalities that apply for construction grants for things like wastewater treatment plants to amend their local housing ordinances to grant special protections for sexual orientation and gender identity as a condition to receiving the grant. Although housing and wastewater treatment plants have nothing in common, that is not stopping HUD from forcing its ideological agenda on communities across America.
THE BOTTOM LINE: ELECTIONS MATTER
So, if you want to rein in the bureaucracy, vote carefully for the legislators and executives who oversee them. Those legislators and executives not only exercise control over agency actions to a great extent, but they also appoint the judges who may decide whether an agency has overstepped its legal authority in any given case.
Your vote has more impact than you may realize when it comes to reining in government bureaucracy. Your vote is a powerful and necessary tool in guarding our freedoms and ensuring that we continue to have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
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