Congressman Jeb Hensarling

Representing the 5th District of Texas

Hensarling Votes for Article I Project’s "Separation of Powers Act"

Jul 12, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and co-founder of the Article I Project (A1P), released the following statement after the House passed and he voted for the Separation of Powers Act (H.R. 4768).  This bill, introduced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), is the first A1P initiative produce by the project’s members.

“Article I of the Constitution states that ‘all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.’ Article II says that the president ‘shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’  The lines separating one branch from the other couldn’t be clearer. 

“Yet, instead of a limited federal government operating from a clearly defined enumeration of powers, we have seen the balance of power tilt wildly towards the Executive Branch and become a leviathan that has metastasized into the nation’s largest creditor, debtor and lender; its largest employer, property owner and tenant; its largest insurer, health care provider and pension underwriter.

“This process has accelerated as we currently have a President who governs with his pen and his phone rather than the Constitution’s system of checks and balances.  A prime reason Congress has been relegated to the legislative sidelines is through a legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court known as Chevron Deference.  Chevron simply says that federal judges must give deference to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute, essentially granting federal agencies the ability to rewrite the laws passed by Congress. 

“Obviously, this is a significant departure from our Founders’ vision of a federal government.  This imbalance is exactly why Senator Mike Lee and I launched the Article I Project earlier this year—to re-establish Congress as a co-equal branch of government. The Separation of Powers Act simply helps to restore the balance of power that our Founders bequeathed us and helps to restore their vision of the people’s right to self-governance.”

For more on Congressman Hensarling and Senator Mike Lee’s Article I Project, click here.