Government Bytes


House Judiciary Committee Passes REINS Act

by Nan Swift / /

Taking another run at becoming law, the House Judiciary Committee passed Rep. Todd Young’s (R-IN) H.R. 367 yesterday on a 20-9 vote.

 The “Regulations form the Executive in Need of Scrutiny” or REINS Act would increase legislative control and accountability over federal regulatory policy by requiring Congress to affirmatively approve any rule that may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.  Long supported by NTU, we wrote in support earlier this year:

The explosion of federal regulations has enormous consequences for individuals and businesses. According to a study conducted on behalf of the Small Business Administration (SBA), economists found that the annual costs of federal regulations in the United States had increased to more than $1.75 trillion in 2008 – a figure that exceeded all corporate pretax profits ($1.46 trillion) that year. The SBA’s Office of Advocacy added, “Had every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, each would have owed $15,586 in 2008.”  Last year alone, there were at least 964 final rules that affected small businesses, compounding the ever-increasing burden of compliance. These statistics become all the more troubling when viewed through the prism of persistently high unemployment and a sputtering economic recovery.

And a press release from the Young office yesterday explained:

“Over the course of the next year, we’ll likely see a torrent of new regulations being issued to fill in the blanks of laws like Dodd-Frank and Obamacare,” said Young.  “Those blanks exist because Congress rushed through vague legislation and left the tough decisions up to federal regulators.  This has the effect of freezing an already sluggish economy, while Congress points to unelected bureaucrats as the culprits.  It’s our job to create an environment where middle class incomes can grow and jobs can flourish, and the REINS Act ensures that Americans can hold their member of Congress responsible when roadblocks are placed on the path to economic recovery.  I look forward to seeing this bill come to the floor for a vote.”  

Of course, a vote in the House is only half the battle. This isn’t the first time around the block for the REINS Act – like many good bills before and after it, the REINS Act (aka H.R. 10 in the 112th Congress) passed the House with a vote of 241-184, only to die in the Senate.  

Rather than give up after initial disappointment, NTU is pleased to see that legislators are working hard to keep moving good ideas forward. In addition to Rep. Young’s efforts in the House, reprising his role from the last Congress, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is spearheading the Senate companion. Here’s to hoping taxpayers have better luck in the 113th and that the REINS Act finally becomes the law of the land.