More Evidence We Need the REINS Act

The article below was written by Republican Rep. Geoff Davis from Kentucky and sent out to those on his email list. It was forwarded to me by a friend who lives in Rep. Davis’ district and I felt it warranted re-posting here.

Congressman Geoff Davis:

Traveling through Kentucky’s Fourth District during the August District Work Period, I have had the chance to speak with a number of small business owners, local bankers, health care providers, and farmers who are very concerned about the impact of new regulations on their businesses. They want to know: what is being done to deal with the unaccountable onslaught of these job-crushing rules?

Last week, the Obama Administration released the final results of their regulatory review, which was announced back in January. While the President deserves credit for taking the first step, his review did not come close to meeting its stated goal of creating a sensible regulatory code.

The White House estimates that proposed changes will save about $10 billion over the next five years. Even if these regulatory savings materialize, they would still only be a drop in the bucket when compared to the estimated $1.75 trillion annual cost of regulations on the American economy.

Furthermore, these savings have already been more than cancelled out by the costs of new regulations that have been proposed since the President announced his regulatory review. Senator John Barrasso [WY] recently released a report that during the month of July alone, the administration proposed 229 new rules and finalized 379 rules at a total cost of more than $9.5 billion to our economy.

Despite the promise of regulatory reform, the regulatory state continues to grow at an alarming rate. The Obama Administration’s current regulatory agenda has 4,257 new regulatory actions in the works, including 219 proposed major rules that will have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more, each.

Having executive branch agencies review their own rules is bit like having the fox guard the hen house. It is not surprising therefore that the results did not go far enough and that we still need new checks and balances to reform the regulatory process going forward.

The American people want substantial regulatory reform and to hold someone accountable for the new regulations that add to the costs of doing business. That is why I proposed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, and why this bill is getting attention across the country and continues to gain momentum in Congress.

The REINS Act would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign-off on all new major rules before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or State and local governments.

The bill currently has 159 co-sponsors in the House, 28 in the Senate and was included in both the official House and Senate Republican plans to create jobs. The REINS Act is also supported by a growing number of organizations from around the country.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up a number of regulatory reform proposals this fall and I am working with my colleagues to ensure that the REINS Act is a central element in our reform efforts.

I will continue to fight for this and other serious regulatory reform measures because it is past time for accountability and commonsense to be a factor in the regulatory process. We cannot afford to wait any longer to take the necessary steps to revive our economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.