NFIB Calls for Halt to EPA Wage Garnishment Power

Date: August 18, 2014

Related Content: News State Michigan

August 13, 2014(Lansing)  –  The state’s leading small business
organization, the National Federation of Independent Business
(NFIB), praised action today by Senator Tom Casperson (R-38) to head off a
proposed rule that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
garnish wages.


At a hearing today of the
Senate Natural Resources Committee, Upper Peninsula Senator Tom Casperson
discussed Senate Resolution 168 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 that call
upon Congress to halt EPA’s attempt to proceed with the wage garnishment rule.
Senator Casperson sponsored both Resolutions.


Earlier this summer, the EPA
attempted to slip through a rule change via a “fast-track” procedure that would
allow it to garnish the wages of anyone that owed them fine and penalty money
without a court order. For the time being the EPA has abandoned the easy route
of a “fast-tracked” rule on the wage garnishment idea as a result of criticism
from Congress and others. However, the agency indicated that they still intend
to pursue the new authority to garnish wages without a court order through the
established longer review process.


“Apparently the EPA’s idea of
due process in their new rule is that the hapless victim could still argue over
how much and how often the agency could confiscate their pay,” said NFIB State
Director Charlie Owens. “This is an agency that does not need any more power
and serious inquiry is needed into the abuse of power they have already been


Owens said that he is aware
of arguments by apologists for the EPA that the wage garnishment regulation,
under which EPA sought their new rule, is no different than similar rules on
the books for other federal agencies including the U.S. Postal Service.


“If this is the case then
perhaps we should be looking into the powers granted to these other agencies to
determine if they are appropriate as well,” said Owens. “It also seems unlikely
that the postal service is out and about levying fines on anyone whose mail box
post is an inch shorter than regulations require, however, the EPA has a
well-documented trail of abuse of power when it comes to over the top fines on
average citizens that they claim are violating any of its’ volumes of rules and


Owens cited the case of a
Wyoming property owner threatened by the EPA with fines of $75,000 per day for
building a pond on his rural property that the agency claims is in violation of
the Clean Water Act.


“There are many other
examples of overreach and abuse by this agency under the current
administration,” said Owens.


For more information about
NFIB, please visit




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