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On behalf of over a million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to cosponsor S.299, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. Introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) along with 24 original co-sponsors, this legislation requires a vote in Congress on any “major” regulations issued by the Executive Branch before it could be enforced on the American people.
Every year, the executive branch issues thousands of new rules and regulations. Those rules that impose at least $100 million of annual compliance cost are considered “Major Rules.” In 2010, federal agencies issued 95 Major Rules. The REINS Act would respect the checks and balances carefully established in the Constitution by requiring Congress to approve such rules.
As our Founding Fathers understood, it is dangerous for any branch of government to have unchecked power. In Federalist 51, James Madison acknowledged that checks and balances are “necessary to control the abuses of government.” In article 1, section 7 of the Constitution, the process of creating a new law is outlined and clearly gives that power to the legislative branch. Today, unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Branch repeatedly disregard these limits by enacting new rules without the approval of Congress.
A CNN poll found that the majority of Americans believe that the federal government has become so large that it imposes a threat against citizens’ rights. We cannot allow the American people to be potentially harmed by regulations that have not been subjected to the proper constitutional lawmaking process—a vote by their elected representatives.
The REINS Act would restore accountability and protect citizens’ rights by giving elected officials a voice in all major regulations issued. It is unjustified that unelected bureaucrats can impose substantial costs on individuals and businesses without approval from the people’s representatives. We must ensure the Founding Fathers’ vision for America by not allowing one branch of government to become overly powerful. I urge you to cosponsor the REINS Act today to restore congressional oversight to the executive branch.
President and CEO
[Click here for a pdf version of this letter.]