AEA Key Votes Regulatory Reform Bills

WASHINGTON — Today the American Energy Alliance urged all Representatives to vote YES on both the REINS Act and the Midnight Rules Relief Act. Below is the text of AEA’s key-vote alert:

This week, the House is set to vote on two regulatory reform measures. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would increase accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process. The Midnight Rules Relief Act would ease the process by which Congress can consider Congressional Review Acts (CRA), expediting the process of rolling back overbearing regulations. Representatives should vote YES on both bills.

The REINS Act would require a joint resolution of approval from Congress for all major rules. According to GAO, a major rule is:

…one 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 for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.

Thus, the REINS Act would make America’s elected representatives more accountable for federal regulations. Rules such as the Clean Power Plan, Waters of the United States, and ozone regulations would be subject to review by Congress, not left to the whim of unelected bureaucrats. The REINS Act would still allow agencies to perform their functions as delegated by Congress, but extends a necessary check on the rulemaking process. This is especially important as agencies like the EPA and Interior Department have imposed very controversial regulations that cost billions of dollars over with little benefits.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act would improve the CRA process by allowing for en bloc consideration of CRA bills. A CRA is a joint resolution of disapproval for specific major rules that would prohibit the rule from taking effect. It also bars agencies from promulgating a substantially similar rule in the future, unless Congress specifically authorizes it.

Under the current process, each individual regulation must have its own CRA, of which debate is limited to 10 hours. The Midnight Rules Act would appropriately streamline this process, allowing multiple rules to be included in one CRA bill.

The American Energy Alliance urges all Representatives to vote YES on both the REINS Act and the Midnight Rules Relief Act. Passage of these bills would send a strong message that the 115th Congress is serious about regulatory reform and turning a new page in American government.


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