The US House of Representatives is debating new legislation this week that could curtail the overreach of federal agencies into Americans’ everyday lives. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, H.R. 277, aims to increase accountability and transparency in the regulatory bureaucracy.
Under the new law, federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would have to gain Congressional approval for any major rules they want to apply.
The bill contends, “Over time, Congress has … [failed] to conduct appropriate oversight and retain accountability for the content of the laws it passes.”
Congresswoman Kat Cammack, R-FL, who introduced the bill earlier this year, issued a press release explaining:
This bill would reassert Congress’ legislative authority and prevent excessive overreach by the executive branch in the federal rulemaking process.
Complaints that “excessive overreach” violates the Constitution have been on the rise in recent years. The new bill directly challenges the power of unelected bureaucrats to make laws independent of Congress.
Dr. Joseph Postell, associate professor of politics at Hillsdale College, writes:
The Constitution vests with Congress “all legislative powers” that are given to the federal government. Giving agencies the power to make regulations that carry the force and effect of law seems inconsistent with this constitutional command.
Rep. Cammack also cites the high cost to taxpayers brought by the administrative state’s regulatory power:
During the first year of this administration, the Biden White House added more than $200B in new regulatory costs.These new regulations cost the American taxpayers over $2T per year in compliance costs and economic losses without the proper oversight from the legislative branch.
Republican Congressmen Bob Good of Virginia and Chip Roy of Texas also proposed an amendment to the REINS Act to stave off the Biden administration’s radical pro-abortion regulations. The amendment would expand the bill’s language “to include any rule likely to result in increased access to abortion, abortion-related services, or abortion-related travel.”
Rep. Good described the amendment as an “effort to hold the Biden Admin accountable for any pro-death rules they try to pass without Congressional authorization.”