House Key Vote: Support the REINS Act, H.R. 10

December 05, 2011 J

Dear Representative,

On behalf of more than 1.8 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I urge you to support H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, when it comes to a vote on the House floor this week. Introduced by Rep. Geoff Davis of Kentucky, the REINS Act helps restore the proper balance of power in the legislative process: Congress should make the laws in this country, not unelected and unaccountable agency bureaucrats.

I urge you to vote YES on H.R. 10, the REINS Act. Americans for Prosperity will rate this vote in our congressional ratings.

By writing unclear statutes and asking experts at the federal agencies to figure out the important details – as they did with the new health care law and financial regulatory overhaul – Congress is increasingly delegating away its authority to write the laws on behalf of the American people they represent. The public has a much harder time holding an EPA researcher accountable when overly-stringent environmental rules impact the economy. The public can’t hold an FCC official accountable when new rules to regulate the Internet take effect despite overwhelming public opposition. Instead, the public votes for his representatives in Washington, who in turn try to evade responsibility by hiding behind the often clandestine rulemaking process.

The result has been an out-of-control growth in the federal regulatory state (federal regulations cost the American economy $1.75 trillion in 2008 according to the U.S. Small Business Administration) and a President who thinks he can “work his way around Congress” to implement policy through regulation instead of legislation.

The REINS Act helps fix this problem by requiring explicit congressional approval for all “major” rules, those that have an economic impact of more than $100 million. When a federal agency seeks to finalize a new rule that will impose big costs on the American economy, Congress must first vote to approve it and the President must sign it before it can take effect. It’s that simple. It’s not a silver bullet to stop every costly federal regulation and it won’t resolve existing regulatory problems, but it does ensure that when a new regulation takes effect every citizen will know exactly who voted for it and will be able to hold them accountable – exactly as the Constitution intended.

I urge you to vote YES on H.R. 10, the REINS Act. Americans for Prosperity will rate this vote in our congressional ratings.


James Valvo
Director of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

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