Collins to Introduce REINS Act, Lead in Regulatory Reform Efforts

From a press release:

WASHINGTON—The House Rules Committee has posted the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act in preparation for its introduction on January 3. Congressman Collins, who sits on both Judiciary and Rules Committees—which share jurisdiction over the REINS Act—is the lead sponsor of the bill that President-elect Donald Trump has called a “major step toward getting our government under control.”

Previously shepherded by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN), the REINS Act aims to repair a flaw in the federal regulatory process by bringing effective legislative power under the oversight of Congress. Currently, federal agencies can pass major regulations—those with an economic impact of $100 million or more—without the approval of Congress or the signature of the president. The REINS Act would require both for all new major rules.

The House has passed the regulatory reform bill before, but never with support from the executive office.

“Our federal agencies are out of control, and Congress is partly to blame for that. We’ve ceded our legislative responsibility to agencies that were never intended to make laws, and the result has been redundant, counterproductive rules that have massive impacts on our economy. I’m introducing the REINS Act to bring accountability to these agencies through Congressional and presidential oversight,” said Congressman Collins.

“Last year saw the implementation of 76 major rules with a cumulative economic effect of billions of dollars, so it’s easy to grasp that our country needs to rein in rogue federal rulemaking now more than ever. My colleagues in Congress and the incoming administration are united in our commitment to regulatory reform and want to make sure that executive agencies actually serve Americans rather than handicapping their economy—that’s what the REINS Act will help accomplish.”

The House is expected to vote on the bill early in the new Congress.

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“But opponents of the measure — every Democrat in the House but two — countered that the legislation is actually a giveaway to special interests that would get a shot to block new safety or health measures not just when Congress first proposes them, but also when a federal agency attempts to write rules based on a law. Congress, in effect, would get to be a second regulator. “Congress would sort of put itself in the position of the executive branch. It would basically flip the separation of powers, and no regulation would ever happen unless Congress became the regulator,… Read more »


this is just an old love/hate story. legislative body can’t make commitments, so it delegates power, but then misses the power, and wants it back. but not really. i did a touch of research on this issue, and from what i found, regulations that are foreseen to have this exact economic impact are already flagged by at least the OMB, so the Executive is already in the loop, and gives implicit or explicit approval. not sure if the GAO or CBO are in the loop by law, but this would create a need for more analysts. and of course subject… Read more »