REINS Act Reintroduced in the House

H.R. 367, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, has been introduced again in the House.  The original measure passed the house in December 2011 but was never taken up by the Senate.  This time, the sponsor is Todd Young (R-IN) since the original author, Geoff Davis, retired from his Kentucky seat at the end of last year.

The measure would require Congressional approval for major rules issued by the Executive Branch before they may take effect (currently, major rules take effect unless Congress passes and the President signs a joint resolution disapproving them).  A “major rule” is any rule, including an interim final rule, that has resulted in or is likely to result in:  1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; 2) a major increase in costs or prices; or 3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or U.S. competitiveness.

The bill goes on to state that if a joint resolution of approval of a major rule is not enacted by the end of 70 session days or legislative days after the agency proposing the rule submits its report on such rule to Congress, the rule shall be deemed not to be approved and shall not take effect.  In addition, a major rule may take effect for 90 calendar days without such approval if the President determines such rule is necessary because of an imminent threat to health or safety or other emergency, for the enforcement of criminal laws, for national security, or to implement an international trade agreement.

H.R. 367 has been referred to both the House Judiciary and Budget Committees for consideration.