Statement on House Passage of REINS Act
With the bipartisan passage of the REINS Act today, the House has implemented another critical piece of the regulatory reform puzzle. Between President Obama’s executive order and the successful passage of REINS today, both parties at least acknowledge that the current status quo is unsustainable.
The REINS Act requires Congress to formally approve new significant regulations, those costing $100 million or more. Using the American Action Forum’s database of proposed regulations, REINS could achieve regulatory cost savings of $40 billion. If Congress used REINS to rescind EPA’s recent CAFE rules, it could save $141 billion in regulatory costs.
To date, regulatory reform has amounted to nothing but window dressing. Every president since Jimmy Carter has adopted a formal executive order addressing over-regulation. However, the simple fact that each president must address regulation at each turn proves that allowing the executive branch to check its own excess is fruitless.
Congress must step in. Regulators wield incredible power and often ignore congressional intent. The legislative branch never approved the new CAFE standards, nor did they allow NLRB to fast-track union elections or require posting of union notification rights in the workplace. One NLRB regulation is slated to impose 12 million compliance hours on businesses.
Regulations that significant should have some oversight beyond a friendly executive. The REINS Act would allow for greater collaboration between administrative agencies and Congress. If successful, the next president need not bother with another toothless executive order. REINS will have already succeeded.