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Chairmen Green, Comer Demand Answers on DHS Administrative Overreach Following SCOTUS Overturning Chevron

July 10, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) and Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) sent a letter to now-impeached Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, reminding him of the limitations on the department’s authority following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, which overruled Chevron U.S.A., Inc v Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (1984). This landmark decision effectively prevents unaccountable, unelected executive branch bureaucrats from assuming undue authority in administering the laws passed by Congress—a stark change from the administrative overreach of the past 40 years. 
Now, months after the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas for his refusal to comply with the clear text of the laws passed by Congress, let alone acknowledge congressional lawmaking authority, the Chairmen will continue investigating the Biden administration to ensure its actions, statutes, and/or practices do not encroach upon Congress’ Article I authorities. Read the full letter here and excerpts below. Read Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s press release and letters from other committee chairs here.
In the letter, the Chairmen state, “We write to call to your attention Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a recent Supreme Court decision that precludes courts from deferring to agency interpretations of the statutes they administer. In its decision, the Court overruled Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), which had allowed courts to defer to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes. By allowing such deference, the Court in Chevron upset the founders’ careful separation of powers, permitting courts to abdicate the judicial role granted exclusively to them through Article III of the Constitution and enabling the Executive to usurp the legislative authority granted exclusively to Congress through Article I. Unsurprisingly, Chevron unleashed decades of successively broader, more costly and more invasive assertions of agency power over citizens’ lives, liberty and property, as agencies adopted expansive interpretations of assertedly ambiguous statutes, demanding courts defer to them.”
The Chairmen continue, “Perhaps no administration has gone as far as President Biden’s to found sweeping and intrusive agency dictates on such questionable assertions of agency authority. The Biden administration has promulgated far more major rules, imposing far more costs and paperwork burdens, than either of its recent predecessor administrations. Many of these rules—such as those promulgated to impose President Biden’s climate, energy and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) agendas—have been based on aggressive interpretations of statutes enacted by Congress years and even decades ago, before many issues against which the Biden administration has sought to deploy them were even imagined. 
“The expansive administrative state Chevron deference encouraged has undermined our system of government, overburdening our citizenry and threatening to overwhelm the founders’ system of checks and balances. Thankfully, the Court in Loper Bright has now corrected its Chevron error, reaffirming that “‘[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.’” This long-needed reversal should stem the vast tide of federal agencies’ overreach. Given the Biden administration’s track record, however, we are compelled to underscore the implications of Loper Bright and remind you of the limitations it has set on your authority.”
The Chairmen conclude, “As the committees of jurisdiction overseeing the Department of Homeland Security (Department) and its component agencies, we assure you that we will exercise our robust investigative and legislative powers not only to reassert forcefully our Article I responsibilities, but to ensure the Biden administration respects the limits placed on its authority by the Court’s Loper Bright decision.”