U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Key Vote Alert! - H.R. 367, the "Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act"

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 8:00pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending America’s free enterprise system, strongly supports H.R. 367, the “Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.”

H.R. 367 is an effective regulatory reform bill that would improve Congressional oversight, increase the quality of agency rulemakings, and better ensure that all branches of the Federal government are accountable.  This is particularly important given the increasing number of the costliest rules.

According to the 2012 “Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions,” which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation, there were 224 rules with an economic impact of $100 million or more in the pipeline.[1]  That represents a 76 percent increase over the last ten years; there were 124 such rules in 2003.[2]

The REINS Act would create desperately needed checks and balances on agency power, restoring balance to our system of government by constraining the improvident delegation of Congressional authority and by enforcing accountability on agencies and Congress alike.  The REINS Act would require both houses of Congress to affirmatively approve, and the president to sign, any new “major rule” (i.e., a rule with a projected impact to the economy of $100 million or more) before it could become effective.

The recent health care and financial regulatory reform laws and the ongoing “legislation by regulation” at the Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies ensure that there will be a large number of new major regulations proposed and promulgated over the next several years.  These regulations will likely touch every sector of the economy and impair, dampen, and distort job creation, economic growth and investment.  Passage of the REINS Act would mitigate these adverse effects by ensuring that agencies regulate in a more transparent, cost-effective, and rational manner, and that Congress retains ultimate control and accountability for the implementation of the laws it writes, as the Constitution provides.

The Chamber strongly supports H.R. 367.  The Chamber may consider including votes on, or in relation to, H.R. 367 in our annual How They Voted scorecard.

Sincerely,
                                                            
R. Bruce Josten

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[1] 2012 “Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/; These rules are classified as “economically significant.”
[2] Fall, 2003 “Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/