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What’s an Agency to Do? That’s for Congress to Say

While persistent gridlock continues to bedevil Congress, federal agencies have been busy pushing the boundaries of their authority. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is trying to ban noncompete agreements. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is puzzling over cryptocurrencies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing regulations to address climate change.

At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court is telling agencies that they cannot act without clear congressional authority. What’s an agency to do? The answer is disarmingly simple: nothing, until Congress clearly directs them otherwise.

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