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REINS Act Would Require Congressional Approval of Regulations

REINS Act Would Require Congressional Approval of Regulations

Congress looking at bill to cut 'red tape' and increase transparency.

House Republicans insist that President Obama is making the regulatory climate repressive for business, causing unemployment to rise. As a result House Republicans plan to take up a bill, the Regulations of the Executive in Need of Review Act, which was introduced by and Representative Geoff Davis, R-Ky., this summer. Unlike the president's executive branch review that was issued Monday instructing independent agencies to undergo a review of existing regulations in order to identify those that are outdated or could stifle economic growth and job creation, the REINS Act would require Congressional approval of any new regulation with an economic cost of more than $100 million.

"The American people have asked for more transparency and accountability from their government and the REINS Act is an important part of our response," Davis said. "The REINS Act would end the practice of Congress avoiding accountability through vaguely drafted legislation by requiring a vote on the most burdensome regulations generated by those laws.   Members of Congress should never have an option to avoid responsibility for the effects of the laws they pass."

The House may have enough votes to pass the measure, but much debate would be expected in the Senate, if it makes it to the floor at all. Some Senators including Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who is the Judiciary Committee Chairman, say such a measure would lead to even more gridlock. Republicans are firm believers that the private sector needs relief from federal regulation.

Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is a leader in the effort to require regulations in areas like nuclear safety, crop subsidies and auto fuel efficiency to gain Congressional approval before they go into effect. Supporting Senators say the U.S. needs to prevent disruptive regulations by presidents from taking effect without the consent of Congress.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa supports this regulation legislation and says even if it doesn't get passed this year it will be part of the party's campaign in 2012.

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