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Cramer: REINS Act Ends Unchecked Authority of Federal Bureaucrats

Aug 2, 2013
Press Release

Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill he cosponsored, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2013, which would require any rule or regulation with an economic impact of $50 million or greater to be approved by Congress. The bill is widely recognized as a major effort to reduce the excessive regulatory power given to federal bureaucrats in the executive branch, and passed in the House a vote of 232 to 183. The Senate failed to take up the same bill in the previous Congress despite bipartisan support in the House.

“For decades, unelected bureaucrats in our federal government have been given unchecked authority to write sweeping regulations based on their own interpretation of legislation passed in Congress,” Cramer said. “For every page of the Obamacare law, there are 10 more pages of regulation. If we had the REINS Act in place, Congress and the American people would have much better control over this monstrosity. We need to ensure in the future Americans can hold their elected officials accountable for the regulations which result from their own legislation.”

The REINS Act defines a “major rule” as one that results in an annual effect on the economy of $50 million or more, a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, or significant adverse effects on competition and employment. In order to be implemented, these rules would need an up or down vote in Congress. Cramer supported a successful amendment to the bill which adds protections for agriculture by also requiring an up or down vote for any EPA regulation which the Secretary of Agriculture determines to have a substantial impact on the industry.

“This amendment allows the USDA to have a check against the EPA, an agency which far too often is disrupting our nation’s food supply with its intrusive regulations on farm dust and other important aspects of a producer’s operation,” said Cramer.

Cramer also voted for an amendment to specifically add to the list of regulations which must be approved by Congress any form of tax on carbon emissions. The carbon tax amendment passed and was accepted into the final version of the bill.