As I travel throughout Missouri's 9th District, the economy continues to be the number one issue raised by my constituents. With our national debt exceeding $14 trillion, it is well past time for Washington to start focusing on solutions that don't involve spending more money. One way to create and protect jobs at home, while also making America more competitive abroad, is to lessen the intense regulatory burden to which our nation's job creators are now subject. In recent years, the number of proposed and enacted regulations impacting employers in our nation has skyrocketed. There are two principal sources of these regulations: vague and poorly written laws from Congress that depend on the administration to implement them through sweeping regulations, and the executive branch itself.
In fiscal year 2010 alone, the Obama Administration unleashed regulations that will cost more than $26.5 billion annually, and many more are on the way. These rules cover a broad swath of American life: fifteen of the 43 major rules issued during the fiscal year arose from the regulatory crackdown on the finance sector in the Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd--Frank) and similar lawmaking. Another five stemmed from the health care legislation adopted by Congress in early 2010. Ten others came from the Environmental Protection Agency, including the first mandatory reporting of "greenhouse gas" emissions and $10.8 billion in new automotive fuel economy standards.
In total, regulations now extract some $1.75 trillion a year from the economy, according to a recent report from the federal government's own Small Business Administration. Regulations raise the price of almost every product and service, while also inhibiting the capital investment and job creation needed to keep the nation's economy strong. Some regulations are certainly necessary, but far too often regulations that do not serve a necessary purpose and have a tremendous negative impact on our economy our promulgated without evaluating their impact on the private sector and without the consent of Congress.
With a new Congress underway, a number of my colleagues and I areinvestigating ways to lessen the regulatory burden facing Americans. With regulatory costs at record levels, relief is sorely needed.
As a first step on the path toward regulatory relief, I am pleased to be a co-sponsor of the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011, or REINS Act. This legislation would require Congress to approve every new rule proposed by the executive branch that has or will likely result in: an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or U.S. competitiveness. In other words, if Congress does not approve a major regulation proposed by the administration, then the rule will not take effect. Since elected representatives are more accountable to the people than appointed bureaucrats, this legislation would inject the voice of the American people into the rulemaking process.
The REINS Act is a good first step to reversing the regulatory tide in America. Congress should not only look at preventing bad regulations from being promulgated, but should also repeal costly and unnecessary rules already on the books. I look forward to working in Congress to do that and, as always, look forward to hearing from you on this important issue to Missouri families.