REINing In Regulatory Overreach: The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act Would Help Restore Transparency and Accountability to Federal Rulemaking
The Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would require Congress to vote on all new executive branch regulations that cost $100 million or more in any given year, what the bill calls “major rules.” REINS is a modest reform, but it would have positive effects on both congressional and agency behavior.
Regulatory reform is one of the federal government’s most pressing issues, and restoring a proper separation of powers is one of the most important planks of any reform agenda. The REINS Act, by requiring Congress to reclaim some of its legislative responsibilities from the executive branch, would partially restore this skewed balance of powers.
The REINS Act has already passed the House; the Senate should also give it a try. And if President Obama or president-elect Trump vetoes it, he would have to justify opposing greater transparency and democratic accountability for federal regulations to the American people.