In an effort to restore a measure of accountability for federal rules and regulations to Congress, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN9) introduced the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, in the U.S. House this week. The bill was introduced with 121 co-sponsors.
"Congress has a tendency to pass vague, sweeping legislation that delegates the responsibility of writing the rules of the game to federal agencies," said Young. "When those agencies end up writing regulations that harm the economy or that our constituents don't like, too often we point the blame at "unelected bureaucrats.' By requiring a vote from Congress before major regulations could take effect, we ensure that Americans can hold their elected officials accountable for overly-burdensome regulations that resulted from legislation we passed in the first place. Additionally, it removes the incentive for Congress to rush through legislation that punts on the tough issues because the tough issues are coming back to us for a vote anyway."
Originally introduced by former Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), the REINS Act would require any rule or regulation with an economic impact of $100 million or more--already scored and identified by the White House's Office of Management and Budget as a "major regulation'--come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before taking effect. It passed the House overwhelmingly in the 112th Congress, but never received a hearing in the Senate.
"Three years later, Americans are still unsure about exactly how laws like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank will work," said Young. "That's because so many of the details of those laws were left up to the discretion of federal regulators. At a time when our economy is struggling, this uncertainty about future regulatory costs is a large contributor to our sluggish recovery. In his several calls for regulatory review, even President Obama has realized the burdens that regulations can place on job creation. If the REINS Act were in place, these bills would have been more detailed on the front end, or else they would have a safety net of Congressional accountability on the back end. Either way, the American people and our economy would be better off for it."
More information on the REINS Act can be found at http://toddyoung.house.gov/reins.