More on Separating Legislative and Executive Power

I should have noted that the proposal I discussed in my earlier post actually has been promoted in the form of the REINS Act, which stands for Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act.

Jonathan Adler has a post and article on the subject, where he notes his debate with Jonathan Siegel.

Jonathan discusses both constitutional and policy issues concerning the proposed legislation.  While I welcome the efforts in favor of the legislation, I don’t think it has much chance of being enacted.  Not only is it opposed by people who favor regulation, it will also be opposed by members of Congress who do not want to be held accountable.

If one favors cutting back on regulation, a more promising approach is to institute some additional check on agencies, such as cost benefit regulation subject to judicial review or outside fact finding by advisory boards.  Members of Congress will not have the same institutional interest against such proposals.  Notice, however, that the principal focus of these proposals is to cut back regulation rather than separating legislative and executive power (although a cost benefit standard would put some additional checks on executive policy-making discretion and therefore would limit legislative power).