This week, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act was re-introduced in the House of Representatives. The REINS Act increases accountability for and transparency of federal regulations by requiring congressional approval for any federal regulation with an economic impact of $100 million or more. Congressman Westmoreland is a cosponsor of this bill.
"These last four years, Americans have seen a rising number of regulations, and simultaneously, unemployment and debt," stated Westmoreland. "The president and these federal agencies are creating regulation after regulation, leaving small businesses struggling. The REINS Act holds these agencies accountable for the harmful regulations by requiring approval from Congress on major rules. It will also make many lawmakers think twice about rushing through legislation or giving these agencies extra power if it's going to come right back to them for approval."
The REINS Act would increase accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process by requiring that before a rule could take effect, the requesting federal agency would submit a report to Congress and the Comptroller General. The rule would only take effect after the enactment of a joint resolution of approval by Congress. In holding both the agency and the elected members of Congress accountable, the bill "reins" in the costly overreach of federal agencies that stifles job creation and hinders economic growth. The bill passed the House in the 112th Congress by a vote of 241-184 with Congressman Westmoreland's full support.
"We need to lift the burden off our small businesses to help them spend more, invest more, and produce more so that they can create more jobs," stated Westmoreland. "It's time we focus on supporting and encouraging businesses, not tying them down with red tape. When this bill died in the Senate in the 112th Congress, it showed that the president and Senate Democrats aren't serious about limiting the size of the federal government. Regardless of the Senate's inaction, House Republicans will continue to pursue regulation-limiting legislation to support businesses large and small, and workers across the nation."
The bill has been referred to the House Committees on Judiciary and Budget, and currently has not been scheduled for a hearing or a markup. Congressman Westmoreland hopes it will quickly pass through the committees and be brought to the floor for a vote.