Idaho GOP Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador joined every House Republican and four Democrats in backing H.R. 10 Wednesday, which would expand congressional authority by requiring congressional approval of major regulations.
The Idaho Legislature, where both Simpson and Labrador served, has a similar mechanism for all regulations, major or minor, with germane committees reviewing rules every session.
In Idaho, pending executive branch rules may be rejected if both houses vote to do so. Temporary rules and any rules including fees must be approved by both houses. The Legislature can also reach back to prior rules and strike them from the books.
H.R. 10, or the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, is unlikely to be considered by the Democratically-controlled Senate and President Obama has threatened a veto in the unlikely event it reaches his desk.
Press releases follow from Simpson and Labrador:
REINS Act Passes House of Representatives
Bill Requires Congressional Action for new Regulations
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today supported critical legislation to return accountability and transparency to the federal regulatory process.
Congressman Simpson cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R. 10, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 241-184.
The REINS Act amends the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to require Congress to approve every new major regulation proposed by the executive branch. Federal agencies may no longer unilaterally adopt a new regulation that would cost over $100 million per year without congressional consent. By returning to Congress its constitutional charge, the REINS Act further holds Congress accountable to the American people for laws imposed upon them.
“I believe Congress has a strong oversight role to play to ensure that federal agencies are not overreaching their authority and stifling job growth” Simpson said. “I have heard from countless Idahoans who are frustrated with impact of costly regulations on their ability to do business. In particular, I am concerned that the Obama Administration is using the regulatory process to force on the American people an agenda that is weakening our economy and pushing federal government further into the lives of citizens. The REINS Act is a crucial step in creating job growth and restoring economic confidence in America.”
LABRADOR VOTES TO LIMIT UNCHECKED WHITE HOUSE REGULATORY AUTHORITY
(WASHINGTON, D.C).- Congressman Raúl Labrador (ID-01) voted in favor of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, H.R. 10, today. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (KY-04), passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 240 to 183.
If passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Obama, the legislation would require Congress to approve “major rules of the executive branch before they may take effect.” These “major rules” would be any regulations that would result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or a significant adverse effect on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation or U.S. competitiveness.
“While our uncertain and unfriendly tax structure remains a great deterrent to job creation and economic stabilization, excessive regulatory burdens often go unnoticed by the general public, but not by the businesses who must comply with them,” Labrador said. “Federal Agencies, housed in Washington, D.C. and made up of unelected civil servants, such as the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration are pushed by the president to impose federal regulations on employers and individuals in Idaho according to his agenda without Congressional oversight. The REINS Act would provide the necessary accountability of the executive branch as it uses government agencies to create and enforce burdensome regulations for America’s job creators.”
According to the Government Accountability Office, 1,827 rulemaking proceedings during the first half of Fiscal Year 2011 alone were “significant,” “substantive” or “major,” as each had an anticipated economic impact of at least $100 million annually. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that “regulatory costs of $1.752 trillion absorb 11.9 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at $14.649 trillion.” In 2010, the Federal Register reached a record length of 81,405 pages.
“During my eight-hour-long jobs forum in Boise last month, we asked job creators from more than 20 Idaho businesses what we could do to encourage them to start hiring again. The consensus was that a combination of tax reform and regulatory reduction would stabilize our economy and help them create jobs,” Labrador said. “The REINS Act is a step in the right direction to begin easing the burdens foisted by government onto America’s job creators.”