On Thursday, Republican U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama introduced legislation that would submit government agencies to 10-year reviews by Congress, followed by a congressional vote to renew or eliminate them.
Byrne modeled The Sunset Inefficient and Unaccountable Government Act, known as the Sunset Act, after Alabama’s Sunset Committee. That committee of 12 members of the House and Senate is tasked with conducting four-year reviews of certain state agencies.
Although Alabama’s Sunset Committee has discretion to review any agency at any time, state agencies with sunset provisions in their statutes are automatically set to terminate after four years. The committee can review the agency’s performance and recommend that it continue or modify its work.
Byrne’s Sunset Act would grant exemption to federal agencies deemed essential to national security.
Byrne issued a prepared statement Thursday:
“Our Founding Fathers would be appalled to see the endless maze of agencies that the federal government has become. Our government is in desperate need of reform and a return to our basic responsibilities. The Washington bureaucracy has become too big, and the heavy hand of government is hurting the American taxpayers.
“It is time we rein in the federal government, and the Sunset Act would pave the way for much needed reforms. My bill would require Congress to renew all federal agencies on a staggered basis every 10 years. Without renewal, the agencies will cease to exist. Under this legislation, Congress will be forced to study and review the bloated federal government and get serious about ending unnecessary or duplicative federal agencies.
“Washington could benefit from some Alabama common sense, and I look forward to building support for my legislation in Congress.”