Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Jim Risch joined with 12 other Senators this week to introduce legislation requiring congressional approval for major regulatory actions taken by federal agencies.
The REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act, would require that every new major rule proposed by federal agencies be approved by Congress and signed by the president before it can take effect. A “major rule” is any rule that the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finds may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; or significant adverse effects on the economy.
“Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has blatantly abused the rule-making process and sidestepped congressional oversight in order to implement policies a majority of Americans oppose. This legislation reins in runaway executive authority by requiring all substantial rules to pass through Congress before they can be implemented,” said Risch.
One example Risch pointed to is the recent final rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency establishing a mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting program for sources with emissions that exceed 25,000 tons per year (74 Fed. Reg. 56,260). EPA estimates the cost of the rule at $115 million for the first year and $72 million on an annualized basis in subsequent years.
“The Constitution empowers Congress to legislate, not the executive branch. Too many agencies have overstepped their authority in enacting major regulations and this overreach needs to end,” Risch added.
S. 3826, The REINS Act, is sponsored by Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina).