Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is spearheading a project to help Congress reclaim powers it has ceded to the president by refusing to control federal spending.

Lee and a handful of other lawmakers announced Wednesday their launch of the Article I Project (AIP), a network of conservative legislators who will work together to rein in out-of-control spending and a runaway executive branch.

In his announcement, Lee blamed past congressional irresponsibility for creating a system that benefits the elites. He said giving lawmakers a forum to discuss legislative reform would help to dismantle this system and give Congress the ability to take back the power of the purse, which Article I of the Constitution grants only Congress.

In practice, AIP will serve as an “in-house think tank” for lawmakers to discuss legislation and take back some of the regulatory and budgeting policies executive agencies are controlling.

Some of the proposed reforms, which they intend to discuss further within AIP, include reforming entitlement payouts like Social Security and Medicare and stopping government agencies from being self-funding. In practice, this would require Congress to approve each agency’s budget annually, by redirecting their funding through the Treasury.

Other lawmakers involved in AIP are representatives Jeb Hensarling, Cynthia Lummis, Dave Brat, Barry Loudermilk, Gary Palmer, Mia Love, Rohn Ratcliffe, and Mark Walker, and Sen. Jeff Flake.

By The Federalist Staff, The Federalist,  February 3, 2016

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