Starting with the first day of the 115th Congress, House Republicans will try to inject Congress more directly into the minutiae of the nation’s regulatory process.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., plans to reintroduce the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny — or REINS — Act when the new Congress is seated Jan. 3.
The House has passed the REINS Act three times, but each time the legislation died in the Senate.
Now Collins, the House Republican Conference’s new vice chairman, is taking the bill’s reins from Rep. Todd Young, who won Indiana’s open Senate seat in November.
“Our country is in desperate need of increased accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process,” Collins wrote in a “dear colleague” letter seeking co-sponsors circulated Tuesday.
Federal “agencies have been crippling our economy with regulation after regulation, effectively legislating from the executive branch while Congress has sat nearly powerless on the sidelines,” he continued. “In 2015 alone, the executive branch issued over 3,000 rules and regulations. Seventy-six of these regulations were “major” regulations — those that produce $100 million or more in economic impact on the U.S. economy.”
The REINS Act would require a joint resolution and the president’s signature before any regulatory agency can finalize new “major” rules.
The House Rules Committee, of which Collins is a member, told lawmakers Tuesday that they must submit any potential amendments by 10 a.m. Jan. 3.
The bill likely will be on the House floor the first week Congress is back.
Collins told the Washington Examiner he believes that President-elect Trump is sympathetic to House Republicans’ efforts to overhaul the way federal agencies promulgate and approve new rules and that he’s optimistic about the REINS Act finally becoming law.