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On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to vote YES on the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, H.R. 26, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.). The REINS Act requires congressional approval for economically significant rules promulgated by federal regulatory agencies.
The regulatory state, which has become an unconstitutional fourth branch of the federal government, has imposed a massive cost compliance burden on businesses and consumers. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, federal regulation cost nearly $1.9 trillion in 2015 – nearly $15,000 per family. If the federal regulatory state were its own economy, it would rank as the 13th largest in the world.
While the 1996 Congressional Review Act does allow Congress to disapprove of a regulation submitted by a federal agency for review, this law has been successfully used only once in its history, in March 2001, when Congress disapproved of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s ergonomics rule. President George W. Bush signed the resolution of disapproval into law.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the Obama administration promulgated 570 economically significant – those with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more – from 2009 through 2015. An August 2016 report by the American Action Forum noted that the Obama administration surpassed 600 economically significant rules, a total expected to increase before President Barack Obama leaves office. The Bush administration promulgated 505 economically significant rules in eight years.
Under the REINS Act, the House and Senate would have to vote on a proposed rule and the president would have to sign it before enforcement of the rule can begin. The bill would give Congress 70 days to pass a resolution to approve a rule. If a resolution is not passed, the rule cannot take effect.
The REINS Act brings a crucial check on executive power, reduces the influence of federal regulatory agencies, and begins to reclaim Congress’ constitutional power as the sole lawmaking authority under the Constitution.
Please contact your representatives and ask them to vote YES on the REINS Act. FreedomWorks will count this vote when calculating our Scorecard for 2017. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President and CEO, FreedomWorks