America has witnessed a staggering escalation in overreach of constitutional authority from the Obama White House. In Article I of the Constitution, the founding fathers clearly states that Congress shall make all laws. This was intentional because representatives are directly accountable to the people we are elected to serve. This ensures that every American's voice is heard and the integrity of our democratic process is fully protected.

From EPA rules that coerce states into following regulations that go beyond the scope of congressional intent - to the staggering twisting of Title IX to set gender social policy in local schools – the Obama Administration has rewritten existing laws to fit a social agenda. We recently witnessed this blatant disregard for our Constitution when citing the Civil Rights Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Civil Rights, proposed a new rule in the Affordable Care Act to redefine prohibitions on “sex” discrimination in healthcare programs to include “sex stereotyping,” “gender identity,” and “termination of pregnancy.” This could leave healthcare providers vulnerable to extensive liability should they refuse to participate in or pay for “gender transition” treatments or “sex change” operations based on medical opinion, moral, ethical, or religious reasons.

ADVERTISEMENT

The fundamental problem with this “interpretation” of existing law is that only Congress has the constitutional authority to change laws. There was no mention of “gender identity” when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act because that was not the issue being addressed by the law. This egregious erosion of the legislative process must be stopped. The Founding Fathers never intended unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies to make sweeping changes to existing law. We must take back our authority and reinstate the power to Congress; those elected by the American people. As the governing body closest to the public, we are appropriately and intentionally positioned to respond to a request to change gender definition. Then, and only then, should Congress pass a law to reflect the will of the people.

The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a Virginia court case involving the Obama administration’s interpretation of federal civil-rights laws, which directed local schools to treat students according to their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. This decision comes on the heels of a suit filed in May by Texas and 10 other states that sued the Department of Education over the guidelines. In August, a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked Obama administration guidelines to give the courts time to address the challenges to this directive. While the Courts have a say, the Constitution also gives Congress a say in this matter.

The people I represent have resoundingly rejected the notion of false power stolen from Congress by unelected bureaucrats seeking to impose social policy on America. That’s why I introduced H.R. 5812, the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2016. This bill will ensure that gender identity is not treated as a protected class in federal law or policy without the affirmative approval of the people’s representatives in Congress. We must restore the voice of the people given to them by our Constitution and put an end to this dangerous precedent of giving unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to make laws.


The views expressed by authors are their own and not the views of The Hill.