Washington, D.C. – In a continued effort to hold the Executive Branch accountable and provide relief for the American people, the House passed H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive In Needs of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, to require congressional approval of all major rules resulting in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, a major increase in costs of prices, or significant adverse effects on competition and employment.
“Our current system allows unelected bureaucrats to pass wide sweeping regulatory law that has never been voted on in Congress,” said Congressman Don Young, an original cosponsor of the legislation. “Presidential appointees and Administration officials, as we have seen through the explosion of federal agency regulations, are not accountable to the American people. They do whatever the President tells them to do, often resulting in needless roadblocks and red tape for American families and small businesses. This system only serves the few at the expense of the taxpayer. These burdens are stifling growth and burying America’s opportunities to create jobs.”
The REINS Act would require that Congress pass a joint resolution of approval for any major rule before such rule can take effect. This resolution must be passed within 70 days legislative days of a major rule being proposed or it will not go into effect. However, the REINS Act does allow for certain common sense exceptions.
- A major rule could go into effect for 90 days, without such approval, if the President determines such rule is necessary because of imminent threat to health or public safety.
- Other common sense exceptions include major rules involving the enforcement of criminal laws or the implementation of trade agreements.
Federal regulations are too often ill-considered, needlessly costly, or simply unnecessary, and regulators fail to analyze both the costs and benefits of most new major rules.
In 2014, federal regulations imposed an estimated $1.88 trillion burden, equaling 11.5% of Gross Domestic Product or roughly $14,976 per U.S. household. During the first six years of the Obama Administration, federal regulators added an average of 81 new major regulations per year – nearly 500 in total. At least 184 of these rules contained new federal prescriptions, with an annual cost of nearly $80 billion.