House Backs Bill to Rein in Regulations

Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind. Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind. Charles Dharapak/AP

The House on its final Friday before recess approved a long-sought Republican bill aimed at reining in regulatory agencies by requiring congressional review of rules deemed to cost the economy more than $100 million.

The largely party-line vote was 232-183, and the bill’s prospects in the Senate are considered slim. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 367) was introduced by Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., to restore “a measure of accountability to the democratic process.

“Why is it such a bad idea to ensure that individual Americans get to weigh in -- through their elected representatives -- on the important details that impact their pocket books, consume their time, and govern countless aspects of their lives?” Young asked in a statement lauding the bill’s passage. “More Americans could stay engaged in the entire lawmaking process and could voice their concerns in a meaningful way. And politicians would be unable to hide behind so-called ‘unelected bureaucrats’ because the American people could ultimately hold Congress accountable for the rules coming out of Washington.”

Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., also welcomed passage. “In the past four years, major rules alone have added nearly $70 billion in new regulatory costs,” he said. “By comparison, 10 years ago, there were six major rules in fiscal year 2003, for annual costs that were about $2 billion. In fiscal 2012, 14 new major rules imposed an additional $14.8 billion to $19.5 billion in annual costs, according to the Office of Management and Budget, making 2012 the costliest year on record for federal regulation.”

Democrats on the House floor argued that the bill was merely “messaging legislation” designed to appeal to the GOP base even though the Senate is unlikely to take it up.

Pro-regulation progressives called the bill a “bad summer rerun.” It is part of a “strategy by big industries to make other anti-regulatory bills appear moderate,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen and chair of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, in a statement. “If you like financial crashes, catastrophic climate change, dangerous workplaces, unsafe food and health insurance company control over healthcare decisions, you’ll love the REINS Act. The rest of us can take solace in the fact that this bill is dead on arrival in the Senate.”

Added Gynnie Robnett, outreach coordinator at the Center for Effective Government, “The House majority just voted yet again to gut protections for things Americans hold dear: clean air, clean water, safe food and safe workplaces.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.