Congress must reclaim its trade authority

By Scott Tibbs, June 18, 2019

The latest dustup over tariffs ought to be about much more than using economic pressure to leverage Mexico to be more cooperative on illegal immigration. Putting all of the economic and foreign policy arguments aside, the President should not have the authority to unilaterally impose tariffs on any nation. The Constitution of these United States explicitly places taxing authority on Congress, not the President.

If we want to "drain the swamp," the first step ought to be to drastically reduce the authority of the Deep State to impose regulations that have the force of law. Sometimes these regulations have the force of criminal law, so someone can go to prison for a "crime" that was never voted on by our elected representatives in Congress. This is the reasons why we have so many criminal offenses, and how easy it is to break federal law.

President Trump was elected on the promise to "drain the swamp," and both the President and many Republicans have complained about the Deep State and the need to push back against it. Restoring the proper authority of Congress would accomplish both goals, and would have the added benefit of reducing the authority of the President, which has grown far more powerful than the founders ever intended. The men who wrote the Constitution would be shocked at the amount of power the President has.

Congress has repeatedly ceded its rightful constitutional authority to the executive branch, from tariff policy to regulatory powers. Congress needs to take that authority back. I call on Indiana's delegation to sponsor and push for legislation that restores the correct constitutional balance of power.

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