U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), along with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 29 other cosponsors, reintroduced the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny” (REINS) Act to increase accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process. Senator Paul has been lead Senate sponsor of the bill each Congress since 2011.
The REINS Act would rein in unelected federal bureaucrats by requiring that Congress affirmatively approve every new “major rule” proposed by the Executive Branch before it can be enforced on the American people, as opposed to the status quo, where regulations ultimately take effect unless Congress specifically disapproves.
“We must increase transparency and hold regulatory agencies accountable to ensure they are upholding the congressional intent of our nation’s laws. The REINS Act gives Congress the authority to review sweeping rules and regulations and is a step in the right direction to rein-in burdensome, out-of-control government regulations that impact Iowans, and all Americans,” said Senator Ernst.
“Last Congress, we made tremendous progress on relieving the burdens placed on the American people by unelected bureaucrats, but much more remains to be done. Passing the REINS Act would reassert Congress’ legislative authority and help us further reduce unnecessary, overreaching government interference in Americans’ everyday lives,” said Senator Paul.
“Even when well-intended, government regulations are all too often ineffective, counterproductive or even outright harmful. Heavy-handed Washington regulators frequently fail to understand the real-world effect of their actions. As the Constitution outlines, laws are written and passed by the people’s branch of government, not by unseen and unknown executive branch employees behind closed doors who can’t be voted out of office. Thankfully, the Trump administration has taken significant action to repeal burdensome regulations. But more needs to be done to reclaim the rightful role of Congress as the lawmaking body of government and restore democratic accountability for rules that impact the lives and livelihoods of Americans,” said Senator Grassley.
“We have made significant progress reining in costly, job-killing regulations since I first introduced the REINS Act in the House six years ago, but we still have more work to do to protect hardworking Americans. I will continue fighting for the passage of this common-sense legislation in the new Congress,” said Senator Young.
“In an age where unelected federal bureaucrats have unprecedented power to unilaterally invent binding, economically destructive federal regulations, the REINS Act is a necessary step in curbing this excessive power. If enacted, the REINS Act would be the most significant, far-reaching structural regulatory reform ever passed, and I will continue to fight for this important reform,” said Senator Cruz.
Reiterating current federal law, the bill defines a “major” rule as one that the Office of Management and Budget determines may result in an economic impact of $100 million or greater each year; “a major increase in costs or prices” for American consumers, government agencies, regions, or industries; or “significant adverse effects” on the economy.
By passing the REINS Act, the American people – through their elected officials – will once again have the final say on whether or not such rules are the right course for our future.
In the 115th Congress, the legislation passed the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 17, 2017, while the U.S. House passed Rep. Doug Collins’ (R-GA) companion legislation by a vote of 237-187 in January 2017.
You can read the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act HERE.