Heritage Foundation legal experts are urging Congress to block the EPA from unilaterally expanding its own power.
In a new legal analysis, Heritage’s Robert Gordon and Andrew Kloster call on our elected leaders to strip agencies of wage garnishment powers:
Congress has a responsibility to protect the constitutional due process rights of all Americans by eliminating or sharply curtailing the authority of agencies to enact wrongheaded wage garnishment regulations.
This summer, the EPA decreed that it would garnish the wages of any “debtors” (according to its own definition) who owe the agency money – all without any court orders.
Heavy-handed EPA fines are not unheard of. In one famous example, the EPA charged a Wyoming family $75,000 per day for building a pond on their own property. Where did the EPA get the authority to regulate streams on private property? Not surprisingly, from itself. The EPA had recently redefined what waters fell under its jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and applied that definition to the Wyoming pond.
The Heritage Foundation pushed back hard against this unconstitutional seizure of power, filing public comments and writing extensively on the issue. Due in part to Heritage’s influence, the EPA eventually reversed its decision, though it still argues that it has the legal authority to garnish wages if it chooses.
What do you think? Should the EPA be able to set the scope of its own powers? Or should Congress act to stop them?