REINS Act Presents Commonsense Opportunity To Curtail Unnecessary Government Regulations

Included in the plan to raise the debt ceiling from House Republicans is a crucial and commonsense piece of legislation that will positively impact every American and that legislation is called the REINS Act. The REINS Act, Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, would amend the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and require Congress to approve by vote any regulation with an economic impact of over $100 million. The CRA currently allows Congress to overturn a regulation or rule if both houses of Congress pass a resolution and that resolution is then signed by the president. The REINS Act would add more teeth to the CRA, allow Congress to reclaim constitutional power as the sole law-making authority, and it would mean fewer rules would go into effect since it is difficult to get majorities of the House and Senate to agree on much of anything.

This current version of the REINS Act was introduced by Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL-03) and has over 178 cosponsors, all of them Republicans. The REINS Act was initially promised as a part of Republicans’ campaigns during the 2010 midterm elections and has been introduced in every Congress going back to 2011. The bill has even been passed by at least the House of Representatives for three consecutive Congresses (112th-115th).

The REINS Act is a commonsense solution to addressing the impact that regulations have on the average American as well as the impact on America’s small business owners. Below is a list of economic impacts that federal regulations have on the U.S. economy and Americans. 

  • The Foundation for Government Accountability estimates that federal agencies added $200 billion in regulatory costs in the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency. 
  • According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the U.S. has a regulatory explosion with private sector costs as high as $2 trillion a year.
  • According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, federal regulations cost nearly $1.9 trillion, or approximately $14,000 per family, annually. If the federal regulatory state were its economy, it would be one of the largest economies in the world. As imposing as regulatory burdens already are, Americans are facing another two years of the Biden administration during which the regulatory state will continue to grow.
  • As of 2017, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alone has promulgated $1 trillion worth of rules over the past ten years, three-quarters of which have occurred under the Obama administration.
  • In 2016, federal regulations alone were estimated to cost the American economy as much as $1.9 trillion a year in direct costs, lost productivity, and higher prices. The costs to smaller businesses with 50 employees or fewer were nearly 20% higher than the average for all firms.
    • From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Every $1 increase in per capita regulatory expenditures are directly correlated with decreases in the smallest firms (those employing between one and four persons) by 0.0156%, a figure whose burden quickly adds up.”
  • As of 2012, the results of giving the executive branch excessive power is an annual regulatory burden of $1.75 trillion upon American families and businesses according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

The REINS Act should be included in any negotiations on the debt ceiling and budget. Providing a commonsense solution to out-of-control excessive regulations is necessary for the country and for Congress to reassert itself as the main rule-making authority in the federal government. 

Related Legislators

US Representative FL-3

Kat Cammack