REINS Act Could Slow Regulatory Tsunami

NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 26, “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017.” This 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.

The surge in federal regulations under the Obama administration has had enormous financial consequences for individuals and businesses. In 2016 alone, the Federal Register repeatedly broke records for length, finally topping out December 31st at a massive 96,702 pages. The American Action Forum’s regulatory cost database, Regulation Rodeo, found that the 403 regulations finalized in 2016 added more than 121 million paperwork hours to our regulatory burden, and a total cost to our economy of $164.7 billion, topping out eight years of significant growth in regulatory action on the part of the executive branch. And, this burden continues to multiply at a rapid pace in the waning weeks of this administration.

By requiring executive agencies to submit major rulemaking proposals to Congress for a vote, the REINS Act would place a much-needed braking mechanism on a federal regulatory state that is clearly accelerating out of control. Over time, Congress has made it a habit to delegate greater amounts of regulatory authority to federal agencies. Unfortunately, this high level of discretion to implement regulations has upset the careful balance between narrow technical expertise and broad political accountability. The REINS Act would begin the process of ensuring that regulatory agencies hew more closely to Congress’ intent; it is a crucial component in the effort to reform our nation’s regulatory system and restoring the separation of powers at the heart of our American experiment.

The tremendous weight of our growing regulatory state is a hidden burden on taxpayers and a drag on our economic growth. The REINS Act could lighten this load.

Roll call votes on H.R. 26 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “Yes” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700