April 1, 2016 | Congressman of the Month
The Class of 2015 brought in a number of strong, liberty-loving members to the House of Representatives. All around the country, political newcomers were winning elections by campaigning for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. After just a year of governance, few have delivered on those ideas the way that Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) has, never failing to put his legislation where his mouth is, winning FreedomWorks’ FreedomFighter Award with a first-year score of 95 percent on the FreedomWorks Congressional Scorecard.
The most important project Ratcliffe has attached himself to is the Article I Project, designed to restore Congress’ constitutional authority and rein in an out of control executive branch. While the project is being formally spearheaded by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) in the House and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the Senate, Ratcliffe is the primary sponsor of its first official piece of legislation.
The Separation of Powers Restoration Act provides a legislative fix to the longstanding Chevron Deference, the policy by which courts defer to regulatory agencies on interpretations of current law. Ratcliffe’s bill specifies that Congress gets to say what they meant when writing a law, not unelected bureaucrats. The implications of this change are huge, preventing regulators from effectively rewriting laws, as they have been doing for decades.
This isn’t the only piece of legislation Ratcliffe has authored to roll back government intervention in markets, however. He has also sponsored a bill to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created under the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, devolving its regulatory authority to the smaller institutions that held that role prior to Dodd-Frank.
As Ratcliffe says, “The need for this bill is clear. When I go home to Texas and spend time with people across our district — in places like Sherman, Rockwall and Texarkana — I hear firsthand about financial institutions having to choose between closing their doors or consolidating into larger firms to handle the increase in compliance costs. I hear from businesses forced to spend more time on unnecessary regulatory paperwork than helping serve their customers, and community banks that have stopped providing certain basic financial services out of fear of retaliation from the CFPB. This isn’t government working for the people. It’s government getting in the way.”
Ratcliffe has also sponsored resolutions disapproving of action by the Environmental Protection Agency that would harm America’s economy, and proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
For coming to Washington with fire in his belly and an eagerness to get big things done, we’re proud to name Rep. John Ratcliffe FreedomWorks’ Congressman of the Month for April, 2016!