REINS Act Returns Accountability to the Regulatory Process

August 2, 2013
Press Release

Elected Members of Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, would be accountable for major federal regulations and rules impacting American taxpayers and businesses under a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Friday.

H.R. 367, The REINS Act, requires Congressional approval of any regulation that would cost $100 million or more. U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL), who co-sponsored the bill, said The REINS Act is an important step to restoring accountability to a regulatory process that has frustrated Americans and increased uncertainty for businesses.

“Federal rules and regulations can have a severe impact on taxpayers and small business owners. It’s only right for those making decisions about major regulations to be accountable to the American voters,” Rep. Roby said.

“American taxpayers and small business owners are being crushed by a mounting maze of burdensome regulations.  I co-sponsored and voted to pass The REINS Act because it ought to be the elected Congress, not unelected federal bureaucrats, who are responsible for policies that could harm our economy and cost jobs. I believe having elected Members of Congress directly accountable for major policy decisions will stem the tide of burdensome federal regulations that is drowning our economy.”

Rep. Roby also supported a key amendment to the bill offered by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) which would require Congressional approval of any form of a “carbon tax” put forward by the Executive Branch. This provision would be an important check on President Obama’s recently-announced plans to impose new fees through the Environmental Protection Agency that could cost American families as much as $2,000 annually.

Already, regulatory costs on the average American family is $14,678 per family—or 23.2 percent of an average family’s income – according to a recent study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Only housing costs take a greater portion of a typical family’s budget.

The REINS Act passed by a vote of 232-183.