Taking direct aim at executive branch power, the House on August 2nd approved legislation requiring Congress to sign off on the most costly federal regulations.
The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act passed 232-183 in a vote that went largely along party lines, hours before the House was to adjourn for its August recess.
Under the bill, both chambers of Congress would have to sign off on any federal rules that carry an annual price tag of $100 million.
The legislation, designed to create a new hurdle that regulations would have to clear before taking effect, reflects the Republican view that rule-making at federal agencies has run amok. The result, they charge, is a torrent of new regulations that have saddled businesses with unnecessary red tape and compliance costs.
“Throughout the president’s administration, a flood of major new regulations have been burying Americans’ job creators and households at record levels,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said moments before the vote.
Prior to the final vote, the chamber adopted a series of GOP amendments designed to broaden the bill’s reach, including one from Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) that would require Congress to approve any regulatory proposal to tax carbon emissions.
Similar language requiring congressional sign-off on healthcare-related rules, offered by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), was also approved.