Congress, FCC, Pacific Legal Foundation discussed on Lars Larson
Larson show. Glad to be with you and glad to take your phone calls and emails I'll get to those a bit later and naysayers always go to the head of the line. But when you take a look at our current congress or even a congress of four or five years ago, I wouldn't exactly call it seller. In fact, the two years before the Democrats took over you'd think I'd have really enjoyed the congress and its performance in the first two years of the trumps of the Trump presidency. No, I don't think they got much done. In fact, I think they worked their darndest to make sure they didn't get anything much done other than that great tax cut. That was good. And and a couple of other smaller things, but the big stuff Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell just couldn't be bothered. So I thought I talked to Clint Brown whose legal policy director at the Pacific legal foundation about what it would take to make our congress more functional, and if they can't be made functional Clint, we find a way to do away with them altogether. Welcome back, by the way. Thanks so much for having me on LARs, that's not a bad idea. So I wrote this up add to point out that this isn't the first shutdown and won't be the last until congress reclaimed their power over the unelected bureaucrats running the show. I I'd agree with you in fact, now they're trying to talk about how to make sure that funding goes on even when congress doesn't appropriate the money that sounds like a complete abdication of their responsibility, doesn't the constitution say that money. Can't be spent not one thin dime. A less the congress appropriates the money, and yet you've got folks from the left side of the aisle out there right now pushing a Bill to say we want to make sure that even when the congress doesn't act all the government agencies. Still get funded all those unelected unanswerable bureaucrats who have lifetime sinecures when federal employment get to keep their agencies funded even when the people's representatives haven't signed off on it. That ought to be one of those outrageous. Ideas anybody's ever heard of. I think it's pretty outrageous that takes away any incentive to negotiate on funding. And you know, the funding is only half of the problem. Congress is supposed to go through two steps before they do anything. So when congress wants to start a new program they're supposed to I half an authorizing Bill legal authority for that program. And then they fund separate piece of legislation an appropriations Bill, and that's what the shutdown. It's been about. The periodically. There's supposed to read you both. They're supposed to go back and reauthorize give legal authority for that program and redo the funding. So every year they try to redo the funding, but they have failed to redo the authority for programs Congressional Budget Office Congress's account found that there are four four hundred and ten. Expired authorizations the congress has continued to fund without even taking a second. Look is that constitutional. You know, I think it is constitutional that that could certainly be debated. I I mean, I guess I'm just asking, you know, Clinton, I'm not a lawyer. But if you say authorization of the program itself is required. So just so we know what to think for my audience, and for me to give me an example of one of the ah programs that has not been given the who's authorization has expired, but who's funding has continued. Is there one that comes to mind? Sure, the first one that comes to mind is the Federal Election Commission super important agency. You know, we we want our elections be honest. That's the bedrock of our Republic. Agreed. Haven't been reauthorized since nineteen eighty one has not said is there anything we need to do update. The FCC. Is there anything we need to need to do to reevaluate? It are there their waste at the FCC. They haven't taken even second Glenn since nineteen Eighty-one. It's outrageous. I wonder you know, I've got a thought it seems almost every political campaign ends up paying some FCC fines for one transgression or another. Some are serious. Some are not. But can you imagine if somebody had ever been fined by the FCC and took it to court on the theory that the agency doesn't have any any reason to exist? It has no authority to exist and contest the fine. Maybe even go out and deliberately in current FC FCC find failed to file the paperwork on a fifty dollars donation. And when they find you. You know, some minor amount of money say all right? We're going to go to court, and the court is gonna decide if the FCC even exists if it hasn't been reauthorized and tested that way it that's what it would take to get standing. I would think and and you could actually test it, and frankly, I wish they'd pass bills for programs that have a sunset in them saying, you know, after five or ten or fifteen years, whatever you decide to the appropriate time this agency goes out of existence unless you get a majority in both houses and the president's signature to sign off on it and take it around the other way say you are going to go out of existence unless we decide you need to stay in existence. What do you think of that? Bars. You know, that's actually a great idea. And what's funny is that's what they did these programs have a sunset provision, and yet congress continues to allow them to exist. They have that kind of sunset Parisian, and I guess the legal theory on it is that it congress gives money to congress must approve of that they must be saying. Okay. Now, you have the authority, but they're skipping half the process, they're not actually looking behind the curtain dang. Okay. What are you guys doing? You deserve this money. Are you are you wasteful? They're not examining this at all. That puts a lot of pressure on the federal budget. Actually, I wanted to tell your listeners that puts three hundred eighteen billion dollars worth of pressure on the federal budget because that's how much money they're spending that they haven't even taken a second look at these four hundred and ten programs cost three hundred eighteen billion with a B dollars. Okay. And and if I treat that the way everything else in DC is treated and extended over ten. Ten years that means we could save three trillion dollars. But just having all those agencies snap out of existence and say, you don't exist anymore. We're not giving any money because you're not authorized to exist. So therefore, and then if we decide there's one or two of them that we actually wanted to save 'cause they serve some some decent purpose. We say we're going to say that one and that one over there, and you actually force congress, frankly, if the congress has a constitutionally assigned responsibility, not just a thorny, but responsibility for oversight, and they failed to do oversight on these than the congress is in violation of the constitution. Are they not? Congress. They they love to violate account. They they don't take it into account any day of the week. I want you to see do you think, you know, a lawyer who would be willing to bring a case I've got because I'm willing to bet even if we don't have a current violator of the FCC and once you've tested it on them. Just see if the court will extend it to every other agency or or do we have to test them one by one? You know, speaking of lawyers the Pacific legal foundation where we're a law firm. I recently joined the Pacific condition, actually, I've been in congress as a senior advisor to senators for the last five years, and then I heard that. Pacific legal foundation was interested in shedding light on this issue until I immediately jumped on I mean, neither smart lawyers. They have a ton of wins in the core. Promoting liberty at the supreme court,.