Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby: REINS Act Protects American Families from Agency Overreach

January 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 115th Congress today affirmed its commitment to jumpstarting job growth and easing the burden on American families with House passage of legislation that will rein in federal agencies’ aggressive regulation, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) said.
“Overreaching regulations cost us jobs and take money out of the pockets of hardworking Americans,” Roby said. "While reasonable rules and safeguards will always be necessary to ensure basic protections, the regulatory environment in this country is simply out of control."
H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, requires congressional approval for any federal regulation or rule that would have an economic impact of $100 million or more. The REINS Act would require federal agencies to submit these major regulations to Congress, which would have 70 legislative days to accept or reject the rule.
“The REINS Act will restore balance and accountability to the rule-making process. American families and businesses need relief from burdensome regulations, and I’m proud that the House wasted no time in taking this critical action.”
Though the Constitution gives sole legislative authority to the Legislative Branch, over the years Congress has delegated certain rule-making responsibilities to various agencies in order to deal with specific issues and allow for a more responsive government. Unfortunately, many agencies have taken this authority too far, growing the regulatory state into what has been dubbed the “fourth branch of government.”
Under the Obama Administration, federal agencies have promulgated more than 600 of these major rules, contributing to a regulatory burden that costs the average American family as much as $15,000 annually, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
While President-elect Donald Trump has indicated that he will roll back many of the executive actions taken by President Obama and his Cabinet agencies, Roby said a more permanent fix is needed in the law.
"We are going to be busy over the next year trying to roll back the mountain of regulations and red tape hampering our economy. President-elect Trump certainly made that a major point in the campaign, and my colleagues and I are eager to work with him to follow through on that commitment.
"However, we need to go a step further by changing the law to stop federal agencies from unilaterally imposing major regulations. Unelected bureaucrats should not be able to impose major regulations without the consent of Congress – no matter who is president.”
H.R. 26 passed the House with a vote of 237-187. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.