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REIN in Burdensome, Anti-Free Market Regulations!
An Open Letter to the United States Congress

October 5, 2010

Dear Member of Congress:

      On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to support the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act” introduced by Senator Jim DeMint and Representative Geoff Davis. Both the Senate and House versions would require that every new major rule proposed by federal agencies be approved through a joint resolution from Congress and signed by the President before taking effect.

      This bill comes in direct response to the flawed policies of the Obama Administration and the current Congress that attempt to expand the size and scope of the federal government in an unprecedented manner. One example is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. This type of heavy-handed regulation is nothing short of a tax, when considering the implications for virtually every business and consumer caught in its crosshairs. In this particular instance, the EPA estimated permitting costs to run approximately $46,000 per industrial facility.

      More recently, we witnessed mounds of new, restrictive regulations enacted through the President’s health care “reform” bill. Aside from hidden taxes and fees, approximately 40 of these provisions are yet to be finalized, leading to unnecessary ambiguity while American families and businesses continue to worry about how they will be affected. The Congressional Research Service claims the health care law grants federal agencies the authority to “fill in the details” through “subsequent regulations,” but often this type of agency rulemaking lacks the transparency and accountability that ought to be required when administering laws that dramatically impact taxpayers across the nation.

      The REINS Act would halt the runaway power of an ever-growing executive branch by putting checks in place and making it difficult to saddle the public with endless mandates. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy reported, “The annual cost of federal regulations in the United States increased to more than $1.75 trillion in 2008. Had every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, each would have owed $15,586 in 2008.” This is an especially startling figure when viewed through the prism of an economy now suffering from 9.6 percent unemployment and a $13 trillion debt.

      Increased regulation is not the answer to our nation’s woes. Congress must get serious about pursuing prudent spending restraint, tax cuts, and pro-growth economic policies if America is to bounce back from the current fiscal crisis.

      NTU hopes you will keep taxpayers in mind and support this important legislation. Any roll call votes related to the REINS Act will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.


Jordan Forbes
Federal Government Affairs Manager