Critics are pointing out a new possible power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has reportedly claimed it has the power to garnish the wages of those who owe fines for environmental violations.
Here's more from The Washington Times report:
The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly floated a rule claiming authority to bypass the courts and unilaterally garnish paychecks of those accused of violating its rules, a power currently used by agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service.
The EPA has been flexing its regulatory muscle under President Obama, collecting more fines each year and hitting individuals with costly penalties for violating environmental rules, including recently slapping a $75,000 fine on Wyoming homeowner Andy Johnson for building a pond on his rural property.
“The EPA has a history of overreaching its authority. It seems like once again the EPA is trying to take power it doesn’t have away from American citizens,” Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said when he learned of the EPA’s wage garnishment scheme.
Others questioned why the EPA decided to strengthen its collection muscle at this time.
Critics said the threat of garnishing wages would be a powerful incentive for people to agree to expensive settlements rather than fight EPA charges.
EPA officials did not respond to repeated questions by The Washington Times about why they thought it was necessary to garnish people’s wages.
The EPA announced the plan last week in a notice in the Federal Register, saying federal law allows it “to garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court orde
Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Fox and Friends this morning this is illegal and "blatantly violates the Constitution." The judge said the EPA has repeatedly tried to give itself more authority and this is only the latest example.
He explained that it can be stopped with a bill by the House and Senate, and added that President Obama would not be able to veto it. Napolitano believes even Democrats would get on board with blocking the EPA from garnishing wages.
"No Democrat running in a close race wants to be on the side of the EPA when it comes to stealing money from Americans without giving them a hearing," said Napolitano.
Watch the full segment above.