The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has passed Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which means it will finally proceed to the Senate floor.

This is a major victory for us who despise too much regulation. From Reason:

Sponsored by Sen. Ran Paul (R-Kentucky), the REINS Act would require every new regulation that costs more than $100 million to be approved by Congress. As it is now, executive branch agencies can pass those rules unilaterally, and even though those major rules account for only 3 percent of annual regulations, they are the ones that cause the most headaches for individuals and businesses.

Passage of the REINS Act would also require Congress to review all existing regulations that surpass the $100 million threshold. Since there’s no clear accounting of how many such rules exist, assessing the landscape would be a necessary step before reforms could be enacted.

Paul’s office released this statement to celebrate the passage of the bill:

“For too long, an ever-growing federal bureaucracy has piled regulations and red tape on the backs of the American people without any approval by Americans’ elected representatives,” said Dr. Paul. “The REINS Act reasserts Congress’ legislative authority and would continue the historic progress we have made this year to curb the damaging effects of overreaching regulations.”

Dr. Paul’s REINS Act would rein in unelected federal bureaucrats by requiring that Congress affirmatively approve every new “major rule” proposed by the Executive Branch before it can be enforced on the American people.

A “major rule” is defined as any federal rule or regulation that may result in 1.) an annual economic impact of $100 million or more, 2.) a major increase in costs or prices for American consumers, or 3.) significant adverse effects on the economy.

Paul introduced the bill back in January and received 26 cosponsors. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) signed on since he witnessed “how regulatory overreach can stifle our local economies and cost American jobs” since his father owns a small business. Young introduced a similar bill as a representative in the House back in 2015.

Young has also used the bill as a way to persuade Democrats that the REINS Act could also stop President Donald Trump from gaining too much power. From The Washington Examiner:

“We need to reassert our prerogative as the legislative branch,” the freshly minted senator told the Washington Examiner, “whether we happen to have a Republican or a Democrat president in the White House at any given moment in time.”

That might not be that tough of a sell when Democrats consider the possibility of President-elect Trump using an administrative army to shut out Congress. For the minority party, the idea of the president-elect governing by pen and phone can’t be comforting.


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