The Trump administration continues to take a look at administrative regulations across the spectrum of government, and as a party to the lawsuit that stopped the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the Waters of the U.S. rule to go into effect, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said it’s good to see this administration appear to be operating differently than the previous one.

“Federal administrative agencies only have powers that Congress gives to them by law,” said Schmidt. “The Constitution doesn’t talk about federal administrative agencies. There is no source of authority for a federal regulatory agency to do or regulate anything, unless that authority is granted to it by a statute enacted by the people’s elected representatives in Congress.”

Since federal agencies spend taxpayer dollars, this is, when it’s outside the law, effectively taxation without representation.

“That’s why we worry so much about policing the boundaries of federal agency actions,” said Schmidt. “When an agency acts outside its authority that was given to it by Congress, you literally have a bunch of unelected federal employees, with no legal accountability or authority, ordering Americans to do or not do things, to live their lives a certain way, or not.”

EPA is now being told to work on a new WOTUS rule.

“That’s what the administration has proposed,” said Schmidt. “We’re very pleased with that. I think, if that happens, if the old, illegal rule gets replaced by a new, restrained rule, then we can avoid having to spend many more years, in court, challenging an out-of-date and illegal regulation.”

Provided that the rule stays within the letter of the Clean Water Act statute, this is something Schmidt supports.