Resolution Aims to Curb Executive Power in Washington

A resolution currently winding its way through the Utah Legislature would encourage Congress to take steps to reign in what some see as an expansion of power by the executive branch.

SJR 8, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, urges Congress to pass the “Regulation Freedom Amendment.”

Here’s how it would work. In the future, if a president issued an executive order, if 25% of either the House or the Senate were to object, it would require a majority vote before the order would go into effect.

“This gets to the separation of powers,” says Weiler. “The president has veto power, so he gets a check on the actions of Congress. But Congress doesn’t have a check on executive orders. This would give them that ability.”

The proposed amendment is the brainchild of the American Opportunity Project. They say it would provide regulatory relief to small business owners who are worried about the effect of government regulations on their bottom line.

“This is a reaction to overreach by the executive branch,” says Weiler. “Certainly President Obama’s executive decisions have pushed this issue to the forefront. But, if it passes, it will be beyond his time in office.”