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NFIB to Supremes: Stop EPA from Rewriting the Law

Author: Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO Date: March 05, 2014

No one really knows how many federal laws there are. Not even the Library of Congress, whose job includes keeping up with such things. Counting the laws is "nearly impossible", the Library admits.

So if some bureaucrat quietly rewrote just a teeny little section of one of the zillions of laws on the books, who would notice? Perhaps that’s what the Environmental Protection Agency was hoping would happen when it fiddled with the long-standing Clean Air Act to advance President Obama’s policy agenda.

But NFIB noticed, and along with several other business groups, has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent this flagrant overreach of authority. The court heard our plea Feb. 24 that such cavalier behavior at the top levels of government could, if not stopped in its tracks, lead to other arms of the federal government doing likewise.

Imagine the havoc the IRS could cause if it knew it could get away with “editing” the U.S. Tax Code. And what about today’s union-friendly National Labor Relations Board or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration? Where would it stop?

The EPA tweak was done so the agency could worm its way into regulating greenhouse gas emissions, something that Congress did not address when creating the Clean Air Act and authority that it has denied the agency to date.

Certain that the long-term economic impact of such regulation will seriously harm the small-business community, NFIB has consistently opposed all attempts to regulate GHG emissions. Small firms subject to such rules would face costly mandates requiring operational cutbacks or the use of more expensive “green technologies.”

Even small businesses that would not be directly drawn into the web could suffer financially when businesses impacted would pass on regulatory costs such as higher energy bills or inflated prices for goods and services.

NFIB doesn’t enjoy being regular plaintiffs in court, but this White House’s rule-bending assault on Main Street is growing daily and leaves us no choice. This is exactly why you joined the National Federation of Independent Business.  We’re fighting on your behalf to prevent yet another federal bureaucracy from deliberately exceeding its authority. We’re committed to carrying out our mission “to promote and protect your right to own, operate and grow your business.”

We’re also contesting the National Labor Relations Board appointments the president attempted to sneak in without congressional review and we’re fighting federal attempts to seize private property without compensating owners, a right plainly authorized in the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

NFIB will not back away from bullying by this administration. We’ve won victories in other courts to protect employers from NLRB decrees to force companies to display pro-union-organizing propaganda, and we’ve been successful in saving your right to resolve legal disputes through arbitration rather than court battles.

If protecting small business means going to the highest court in the land to make your voice heard, we’ll do it, and keep doing it as long as threats arise. Your support is critical. Without it, there would be no limit to the damage big government could do to your business and the American free enterprise system.

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About the Author

Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO

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