AFP Letter of Support: REINS Act, H.R. 367 and S. 15

Jan 24, 2013 by AFP

Dear Representative Todd Young and Senator Rand Paul:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I am writing in strong support of the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, H.R. 367 and S. 15. Your bill would restore Congress’s proper role in constructing the rules that govern the country by requiring executive agencies to submit major rulemaking proposals to Congress for review and a clear up-or-down vote before the rules take effect.

Increasingly over recent history, Congress has delegated its legislative authority to federal agencies, empowering bureaucrats to write regulations that carry the force of law and have an enormous impact on every aspect of American life. This has undermined accountability into the rulemaking process, as bureaucrats are unelected and not answerable to a constituency. Elected officials should be voting on these rulemakings because the public can hold them accountable.

Certainly, executive agencies serve an important role in the creation of the complex rules that govern our society. Congressional delegation of authority is required so that agency experts can take the necessary time to study relevant issues and produce thoughtful rules. Additionally, the public comment process is crucial because it allows stakeholders to advise executive agencies on how to make rules that fulfill agency goals while still allowing regulated entities to function.

However, the agency process should have congressional input. The Congressional Review Act was an excellent first step toward ensuring agencies do not vastly overreach their authority. But the CRA is reactive and requires that Congress sift through thousands of regulations searching for objectionable rules. By removing some of the previously delegated authority, the REINS Act would reverse this procedure and require agencies to report major rules and request authority to implement them.

It is time for Congress to reassert its proper role in the rulemaking process and rescind this portion of previously delegated authority. AFP is proud to support H.R. 367 and S. 15. I urge your colleagues to support its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.


James Valvo
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity