Meet Bill Kovacs
William L. Kovacs, usually referred to as “Bill Kovacs”, has been involved in the nation’s policy-making process for over four decades. Today his current projects are his book, Reform the Kakistocracy and his blog, ReformTheKakistocracy.com
Bill has held positions as senior vice president for environment, technology & regulatory affairs for one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the county, a chief counsel on Capitol Hill providing legislative counsel on two landmark laws in one Congress, chairman of a state environmental board, a partner in several Washington, DC law firms and a legislative assistant and counsel to a member of Congress. He has testified before Congress, at least, thirty-nine times, participated in hundreds of federal agency rulemakings, written policy and law review articles, and has given major policy presentations in forty-nine states.
Some of his notable achievements include being chief counsel on the enactment of two historic laws in one session of Congress – the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the first U. S. law to regulate solid and hazardous waste, and the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 which reorganized the bankrupt Penn Central Railroad into Conrail. This law saved the railroad industry in the Northeast and Midwest United States and was the largest corporate reorganization in the U.S. at that time.
In other policy efforts, Bill led key coalitions to enact major legislation including the Federal Data Access law in 1999, Brownfields legislation in 2002, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and permit streamlining of federal infrastructure projects in 2017.
Bill started his career when there were giants on Capitol Hill like Wright Patman (of anti-trust fame), Manny Celler (The House Judiciary Committee chairman that led the passage of the Voting Rights Act 1965 and the Civil Rights Act 1968) and George Mahon (tight-fisted chairman of the House Appropriations Committee). In those days members of Congress focused on policy and budgets. The federal deficit in 1970 was under one-half trillion dollars (today it is $22 trillion).
During his first years on Capitol Hill, Bill was the legislative assistant and counsel to Congressman Fred B. Rooney (D-PA). In that position, he led the successful litigation effort against the Nixon White House to have the impoundment of federal funds for local water and sewer programs, declared illegal. The Congressman won and funds were allocated to his district.
After the “Watergate Babies” took over Congress in 1975 the institution of Congress became a collection of independent egos, more concerned with supporting political parties and finding television cameras than preserving their Article I legislative powers and being a check on the other branches of government.
Between 1976 and the end of 2017, legislative power was being increasingly delegated by Congress to federal agencies which issued an over two-hundred thousand regulations, which are in effect, laws. Around the same time period, courts began finding rights in laws never envisioned by Congress and granting deference to the actions of federal agencies, notwithstanding congressional intent. More recently the lower level courts have been acting as super-legislatures by issuing nationwide injunctions to control national policy in place of Congress.
From this background, Reform the Kakistocracy, originates.