Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Bills to control government regulations move forward in the Senate

 

May 18, 2017



WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC) Committee voted today to advance two bills that could help control excessive government regulations. The bills, cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., would give Congress new options to review regulations and rules proposed by bureaucratic agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor.

Enzi, who serves on the HSGAC committee, voted to advance both bills so they can be considered by the full Senate.

“Congress has given far too much power to unaccountable bureaucrats who implement too many regulations, many that are harmful to our country and our economy,” Enzi said. “These bills would provide Congress with new tools to review regulations and cut down on excessive or destructive red tape implemented by Washington.”

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, introduced by Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., would require Congress to approve every new major rule proposed by the executive branch before it can be implemented and enforced. Under the bill, once the executive branch has drafted a major rule, it would need to be approved by both bodies of Congress and signed by the president. A major rule is defined as any rule that the Office of Management and Budget finds may result in an annual economic impact of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs for consumers; or significant adverse effects on the economy.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act would ensure that Congress could strike down all of the regulations that a president’s Administration tries to implement right before they are leaving office. Usually these “midnight regulations” are rushed out the door before the end of the president’s term in order to cement their legacy. While Congress can currently overturn these regulations under the Congressional Review Act, it can only do so one at a time, and there is a time limit. The Midnight Rules Relief Act would allow Congress to disapprove of any and all midnight regulations in one fell swoop.

The House has already passed both bills. The HSGAC Committee also passed a number of other bills today that could help control regulations. The Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act, introduced by Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., would make the regulatory process more “user friendly” and make it easier for people to understand proposed rules before they go into effect. The Regulatory Accountability Act, introduced by Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would increases public participation in regulations and require agencies to choose the lowest cost options for a rule.

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