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Reining in Regulations to Stop Government Abuse


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Just a few days ago, President Obama announced that he would once again "pivot" to the economy. The bottom line of his speech: after four-and-a-half years of the Obama Administration, "We're not there yet."

The President is right. We're not there yet.

But what he missed in his speech is that his Administration's policies are placing increasing burdens on America's job creators. Whether it is the onslaught of regulations on businesses or mandates created by the president's disastrous health care law, increasing executive overreach and government abuse is only growing the size and scope of the federal government. As this government abuse expands, it threatens our economy, job creation and your liberties as Americans.

But instead of fixing the problem by changing these policies, the Obama Administration knows only one response -- double down, increase taxes, increase spending, and increase regulation. A flood of new major regulations has been burying America's job creators and households at record levels. According to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Poll, 72 percent of small businesses reported that regulations were hurting their "operating environment." In 2012 alone, unnecessary regulation imposed an estimated burden of $1.8 trillion, which adds up to approximately $15,676 per U.S. household.

This week, the House of Representatives took up, and passed, 10 bills to address this government abuse, including the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The REINS Act, passed by the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year, requires federal agencies to submit major regulations costing over $100 million dollars to Congress for approval.

The REINS Act is one of the most powerful measures we can adopt to put an end to regulation that imposes the Administration's flawed policies on the American people. It achieves that result in the simplest and clearest of ways -- by requiring an up-or-down vote by the people's representatives in Congress, within 70 legislative days, before any new major regulation can be imposed on our economy.

It makes sense that elected officials should make these decisions, not unelected bureaucrats. The REINS Act restores to Members of Congress, who are accountable to the American people, the responsibility for America's costliest regulatory decisions. It provides Congress, and ultimately the people, with a much-needed tool to check the influx of regulations by the Obama Administration and Washington's regulatory bureaucrats. The REINS Act does not prohibit new major regulation -- it simply establishes the principle, "No major regulation without representation."

By cutting through the red tape squeezing our economy, the REINS Act will help curb government abuse and provide regulatory relief for American workers, households, and small businesses. This is the kind of policy that is critical to the growth and recovery that America needs.

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