House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that congressional Republicans are working with President Donald Trump to "drain the swamp" by working to "restrain the bureaucracy and empower the states."
"Some parts of Washington have gathered up power for decades while simultaneously shedding accountability," the California Republican said in an op-ed for Townhall.com. "States, which have always been more accountable to the people, were reduced to implementers of federal policy.
"On the other hand, bureaucracies have grown exponentially and began effectively legislating without ever having to respond to growing popular concerns.
"Draining the swamp is exactly what we have long called for, and we have already begun working with the president to make Washington serve the people again," McCarthy said.
The two major ways Congress has been working to make government more accountable is by rolling back many of the Obama administration's regulatory policies and by passing the American Health Care Act that seeks to repeal and replace Obamacare, he said.
"Regulations from an out-of-touch Washington bureaucracy weigh down businesses and destroy jobs — but this is more than just an economic issue," McCarthy said. "Career bureaucrats who never stand for re-election have broad authority with almost no accountability."
He noted that the House passed the REINS Act, which requires congressional approval of regulations that cost $100 million or more, and the Regulatory Accountability Act, which "ends a court precedence that stacks the legal system in favor of the bureaucracy and against the people.
"Together, these bills put a check on what regulators can do and what they can get away with in court," McCarthy said.
In addition, the House and Senate both have used the Congressional Review Act to "overturn Obama administration rules that would have endangered tens of thousands of American jobs, undermined local control over land and education, and threatened our core constitutional rights, from the Second Amendment to due-process protections," he said.
Regarding the AHCA, McCarthy called the legislation "the largest devolution of power to the states in decades."
"Medicaid reform in the legislation allows states to decide how best to help the poor and disabled, unhindered by the heavy-handed federal government," the majority leader said. "And if some states want to keep Obamacare's broken system, that's their choice.
"When our bill is signed into law, states will be able to choose whether to keep Obamacare's rules and regulations, or do something better.
"Whatever disagreements Republicans might have — and there are always disagreements over details — we are unified by a simple truth," McCarthy concluded. "Washington is too powerful, it has worked against the interests of the people, and the people demand a change.
"President Trump wants to drain the swamp," he added. "Republicans have already gotten to work."
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