House passes bill requiring Congressional approval for major regulations


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The House today passed a bill requiring Congressional approval for regulations having an economic impact of more than $100 million.

The legislation, dubbed the REINS Act, requires a regulation with an economic impact of more than $100 million annually to be approved by both chambers of Congress before it can take effect. Republicans also attached an amendment that requires agencies, when promulgating new rules, to repeal or amend existing rules to fully offset the economic costs. The House also passed comparable legislation in the last congressional session, but it faltered in the Senate. GOP leaders are taking a renewed crack after President-elect Donald Trump offered his support during the campaign.

Not surprisingly, the Democrats opposed the bill. It is unclear whether the Senate will follow suit, but with Trump in the White House and very much in favor of reducing regulation and the power of the bureaucracy, it is going to be increasingly difficult for the Democrats to block all these legislative bills.

3 comments

  • Garry

    The Democrats are very disappointing here. One of the biggest problems is that we’ve gotten away from separation of powers, and most of that comes from Congress deferring too much power to the Executive Branch, with Obamacare being Exhibit A. Instead of a power struggle of Legislative vs. Executive, we have a power struggle of Insiders vs. everyone else.

    What the Democrats don’t see is that Trump (or any future president) can use the power that Obama has taken, and effectively enact their own legislation. They are taking Trump at face value and assuming he won’t use big government for his own ends, but I think that’s naive.

    If I were Trump (assuming he is sincere about wanting to cut regulations and wants this to pass; by no means a reliable assumption), I would announce a regulation the Democrats would hate that would cost more than $100 million per year, and maybe that’ll wake them up.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of requiring power producers to assign round-the-clock monitoring of birds killed by windmills, with very stringent requirements to keep tabs on local bird populations, requirements to stop windmill blades when protected species are within a mile of any turbine blade, and huge, escalating fines for any killed birds, followed by mandatory shutdown until painstaking studies are done to prevent any future occurrences.

  • wayne

    Garry– Good stuff!

    referencing the windmills– those things kill more Bald Eagles in one year, than DDT ever did.
    (It was Nixon and the Republicans that gave us the EPA & their first action was to outlaw DDT.)

    I would also note– This type of economic-impact legislation, is included in Mark Levin’s proposed Liberty Amendment’s.

    While it’s a good idea, Mitch McConnell doesn’t think so and he & Chuck run the Senate.
    Personally– I’m convinced these people are beyond the ability to reign themselves in, I predict it’s all lies and obfuscation.

    Referencing the broader picture– an extremely informative discussion from a brilliant legal mind:

    Professor Richard Epstein:
    “Is the Administrative State Consistent with the Rule of Law?”
    1-29-2008
    https://youtu.be/PPSglKMzx5o
    (1:00:56)

    (The short answer is “NO,” the Administrative State is not consistent with the Rule of Law.)

  • LocalFluff

    @Garry, Really great idea!

    As it is, or was, could the White House interfere specifically in a detailed executive matter? Or must they work with much more generally formulated rules and guidelines for the lower level bureaucrats to interpret and follow (as in Sweden)?

    Bureaucracy has grown way beyond what the founding fathers could’ve imagined. Has the executive below the White House has become a new and by the constitution unregulated force of power in the government?

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