Time to Regulate the Executive Branch
[img_assist|nid=27125|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=242|height=300]In the past year, President Obama has issued $10 billion in major regulations that affect you, the taxpayer. No, you didn’t misread that number, it really was $10 billion. Add that to the $5 trillion that he has added to the deficit over the last 39 months and you can see that there is obviously a disconnect between what the People want and what the President thinks the People want.
Enter the common sense solution: Rep. Geoff Davis’ REINS Act. The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act was listed as one of the top priorities for this session by Speaker Boehner, received 202 co-sponsors and was successfully passed by the House of Representatives on December 7th, 2011 (see how the Ohio delegation voted here). The Senate version of the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, is currently under consideration and does not yet have a floor date.
That sounds all well and good right? Well, let’s dive into a little bit more information and really figure out why the REINS Act is the perfect tool to Regulate the Executive Branch
What is the REINS Act? The REINS Act was designed to restore Congressional accountability for the regulatory process and would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote as well as require the President to sign-off on all new major rules before they can be enforced upon the American People, job-creating small businesses, or State and Local governments.
Wait, what is a major rule? Major rules are those that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more.
Why is the REINS Act the common sense solution then? The REINS Act is a common sense reform because it will increase congressional accountability, improve the regulatory process and protect the American people from further unnecessary regulatory burdens on our economy.
How can I find these major rules? Agencies are actually required to post any proposed major rule for anywhere from 30 to 90 days for public comment. This comment period is an important part of the regulatory process. Agencies are bound by federal law to enforce statues that Congress puts in place. However, they are given a great amount of maneuverability in how they go about said enforcement. These agencies are also REQUIRED to respond to all comments which means they cannot ignore your concerns.
What about the Congressional Review Act? Passed in 1996, the CRA was instrumentally in having agencies report all major rules to Congress. It gave the Legislative Branch the ability to overturn any major rule with 60 legislative days with a joint resolution if it did not agree with the rule. However, of the 731 major rules that have been passed from 1996 to 2008, only one was successfully overturned. So the CRA, while in theory was great, in reality it was not successful.
All in all, the REINS Act is the piece of legislation that can give accountability to the American people and power to Congress. Don’t take just my word for it, see what others have been saying about the REINS Act: