A Better Way -- U.S. House Republican Vision For A Confident America

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan -- A Better Way 2016
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan -- A Better Way 2016
A Better Way To Uphold Our Constitution
In a Confident America, the government upholds the Constitution and works for the people, not the other way around.

Just as the size of government has grown, so has its arrogance. Washington spends money it isn't authorized to spend. It takes power it isn't given. It ignores laws it is required to execute. It doesn't listen, and it certainly doesn't care to learn.

The Founders insisted on a separation of powers to protect our constitutional liberties. But over time, especially in recent decades, the executive branch has collected more power for itself, enabled by a judiciary that defers to the bureaucracy and a Congress that has yielded some its most fundamental duties. James Madison warned that the Constitution is "a mere parchment barrier" unless each branch asserts its powers to keep ultimately comes at the expense of the people, who rightly feel detached from -- distrustful of -- their government.

Key Facts:

$310 billion = The amount spent on agencies and programs that had already expired or were about to expire.

100,000 = The current backlog on FOIA requests.

81 = Average number of major regulations from the Obama administration each year.

2/3 = Two out of every three dollars we spend is outside of Congress's control.

Our Ideas:

1. Require the chair of each authorizing committee to make recommendations for the disposition of unauthorized programs, agencies, and departments within his or her jurisdiction.

2. Encourage every member of Congress to work with committee chairs to authorize and reform programs, as well as reiterate exisiting ways to address the unauthorized appropriations and legislative provisions in approriations bills.

3. Congress must draft legislation more clearly to limit executive discretion and to ensure proper consultation with affected parties. Legislation should also include precise language detailing who a law is designed to benefit, in what way, and for what period of time.

4. Pass a law requiring any federal official who establishes or implements a formal or informal policy to refrain from enforcing a federal law, or who becomes aware of such a policy, to report to Congress on the reason for the nonenforcement.

5. Enact a judicial procedure permitting the House, the Senate, or both chambers together to receive expedited review of a lawsuit against the executive branch for failure to execute the law.

6. Strengthen the ability of inspectors general to identify fraud within the agency they oversee, to gather relevant evidence for investigations, and to identify and prevent improper or fraudulent payments.

7. Conduct oversight to ensure agencies are fully implementing the Federal Records Act (FRA) and reform the FRA to incentivize agencies to preserve records in electronic format and strengthen accountability for those who deliberately violate federal recordkeeping laws.

8. Strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by conducting robust oversight and passing legislative reforms to limit the ability to withhold information from public records.

9. Reform the Administrative Procedure Act to require federal agencies to use the least costly methods of fulfilling congressional mandates and to publicize the regulatory costs and benefits.

10. End judicial deference to agencies under the Chevron and Auer doctrines that makes it easier for agencies to overreach the bounds of their statutory powers.

11. Require presidential administrations to disclose full information on regulations in development, including regulatory objectives, costs, legal bases, and status of development.

12. Require agencies to write regulations in clear, plain language -- and publish them online.

13. Require all federal agencies to submit major regulations to Congress for approval.

14. Strengthen oversight of agencies that impose significant regulations without public comment.

15. Strengthen the Congressional Review Act so agencies submit their new regulations to Congress for review.

16. Reform the Congressional Review Act to allow a single, up-or-down vote on "midnight regulations" issued by outgoing administrations.

17. Institute new congressional channels of action to disapprove of executive branch overreach to replace the use of unicameral legislative-veto mechanisms.

18. Codify the government-wide regulatory review and coordination function of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

19. Pass all annual appropriations bills.

20. Work with the Senate to remove the impediments to passing annual appropriations bills.

21. Commitees of jurisdiction should complete comprehensive reviews of all spending that is not subject to annual appropriations, and make recommendations on reforms necessary to restore congressional control over the funding of agencies and programs.

22. Overhaul the outdated and needlessly complex Congressional Budget Act.

23. Prohibit executive-directed spending through settlement provisions that provide for donations to non-victim third party groups in circumvention of Congress's spending and oversight authority.

24. Promote the strategic use of limitations, funding conditionality, and funding availability to make congressional action in appropriations bills more effective.

25. Strengthen the Anti-Deficiency Act to prevent illegal spending by the executive branch.

26. Foster better relationships with agency heads and engage in frequent member briefings before and after hearings.

27. Make federal agency spending data more accessible, searchable, and reliable.

28. Push agencies to make budget and expenditure information accessible through centralized online dashboards and in machine-readable, standardized formats.

29. Link financial data and performance data across the federal government.

30. Require agencies to post additional information about federal spending online.

31. Clarify the criminal contempt statute and expedite Congress's ability to civilly enforce subpoenas.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan -- A Better Way Congress Alliance
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan -- A Better Way Congress Alliance
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan
Republican National Committee
Republican National Committee

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