230614 KV REINS Act House
June 14, 2023
To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports H.R. 277, the "Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2023." The Chamber may consider including votes on, or in relation to, H.R. 277 in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
H.R. 277 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. Such oversight is particularly important given the recent promulgation of a high number of costly regulations and profound changes to the government’s centralized regulatory review process and proposed concepts for cost-benefit analysis that would hide the true costs of aggressive regulatory agendas and grow the regulatory state.
According to the Government Accountability Office, which lists “major” federal regulatory actions, there were 183 rules finalized in the last 28 months alone that would result in significant adverse effects on the economy, major price increases to consumers, or economic impacts of $100 million per year. In the pipeline, are almost 250 “economically significant” regulatory actions in various stages of implementation that only add to the broader concern over-broad, costly regulations as opposed to smart, narrowly tailored regulations that might minimize regulatory costs while achieving regulatory objectives.
The REINS Act would create checks and balances on agency regulatory overreach, 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 significant expansion of authority under recent antitrust, health care, and financial regulations 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 costly regulations proposed and promulgated over the next couple 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. 277.
Senior Vice President
U.S. Chamber of Commerce