CELL PHONES ON PLANES – MARC SCRIBNER
Should the federal government outlaw rudeness? Some senior Republican lawmakers seem to think so. Since 1991, the Federal Communications Commission has barred cellphone use on airplanes to prevent interference with ground-based mobile networks. But, as new technology has relieved concerns, the FCC is seeking to relax the rule.
The FCC’s proposal has sparked a political backlash in Congress, led by Republicans who apparently think “small government” should have the role of policing annoying behavior. House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., introduced a bill to ban in-flight phone calls, while Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., teamed up with California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein to do the same thing.
GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATIONS – MARLO LEWIS
An amicus brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court, on behalf of five U.S. Senators, argues that Congress never gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to unilaterally impose permitting rules for greenhouse gas emissions, without statutory authorization. The brief, written pro bono by attorneys Theodore L. Garrett and Thomas R. Brugato of Covington & Burling LLP for an upcoming case on the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations, bases much of its conclusion on CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis’s posted review of nearly 700 proposed bills on greenhouse gases introduced over 11 Congresses.
WASHINGTON’S HIDDEN COSTS – WAYNE CREWS
Some costs of government arise from how regulations are enacted and accounted for (or as is actually most often the case, unaccounted for). Here in Part 4 we glance at some of these shortcomings. If lawmaking up on Capitol Hill is compared to sausage making, it gets even worse down here in the agency packing houses.