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Chairman Hall Statement on "Imperial Presidency' Report

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The Office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor today released a comprehensive report highlighting more than 40 instances in which the Obama Administration has disregarded Congressional authority or circumvented separation of powers in order to enact new regulations and policies without Congressional approval.

The report highlights several issues that have been raised by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in the 112th Congress.:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempts to develop global warming regulations that have the potential to be the most complex, far-reaching, and expensive in the Agency's history.
Repeated attempts by the EPA to stifle oil and gas production from hydraulic fracturing, despite the Agency's own recognition that it has limited authority to do so.
The Obama Administration redirection of funding to new programs that Congress has not endorsed, including the unauthorized National Network of Manufacturing Institutes.
Termination of Yucca Mountain as the nation's permanent nuclear waste repository, without scientific justification supporting the decision.
"This Administration has repeatedly pursued predetermined policy outcomes and new costly regulations without Congressional consent, and often without adequate scientific analysis," said Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX). "This regulatory overreach is not only expensive and unfounded, but it has also created uncertainty for industry, which in turn, hinders economic growth."

At several hearings, witnesses, including top Obama Administration officials, have testified that in over 50 years of use, hydraulic fracturing has never been associated with drinking water contamination. Yet, the report shows that EPA has overstepped the bounds of its authority by repeatedly attempting to find a way to regulate this process, and continues to pursue actions designed to thwart domestic energy production.

The report also notes instances in which this Administration has ignored or failed to execute laws that are in conflict with their policy goals. One such instance is in the termination of Yucca Mountain as the nation's nuclear waste repository, a decision the Science, Space, and Technology Committee has investigated extensively. The report states:

"Despite this extensive legislative record of Congressional intent, decades of scientific and technical evaluation, and approximately $15 billion spent by DOE, the Obama Administration is disregarding the law and attempting to unilaterally prevent Yucca Mountain from serving as the nation's nuclear waste repository."

The Administration has also redirected funds to new programs that Congress has not endorsed, including the unauthorized National Network of Manufacturing Institutes. Instead of seeking appropriate Congressional approval, the Administration has launched a pilot institute, hoping that $1 billion will materialize to support the bigger program. Despite the fact that this pilot has not been authorized and that these funds were clearly appropriated for other activities, the President has circumvented the legislative process and commenced with the pilot.

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