News and Tribune

January 27, 2013

REINS Act back before Congress

Regulatory stipulations hurting economy, according to Young

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — U.S. Rep. Todd Young has introduced a bill that would require any rule or regulation with an economic impact of at least $100 million be brought before Congress for a vote. 

The legislation is known as the REINS Act, which stands for Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny. 

A similar measure was introduced in 2011 by Rep. Geoff Davis. It passed the Republican-controlled House but failed to receive a hearing in the Democratic-ruled Senate. 

The bill will again be weighed by the House, and the measure has 121 co-sponsors. 

“Congress has a tendency to pass vague, sweeping legislation that delegates the responsibility of writing the rules of the game to federal agencies,” Young said this week. “By requiring a vote from Congress before major regulations could take effect, we ensure that Americans can hold their elected officials accountable for overly burdensome regulations that resulted from legislation we passed in the first place.” 

However, opponents of the REINS Act claim it would allow Congress to impede upon regulations such as those established to protect Americans against air pollution. 

On its website, www.americanprogress.org, the Center for American Progress warns the REINS Act “would turn a regulatory process currently driven by scientific expertise, industry input, and careful cost-benefit analysis into a political circus.” 

But Young — a Republican representing Indiana’s 9th District — believes the legislation will bring more clarity and accountability to the federal system. 

Uncertainty about future regulatory costs is a large contributor to the sluggish economic recovery in America, Young said. 

“Three years later, Americans are still unsure about exactly how laws like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank will work,” he said. “That’s because so many of the details of those laws were left up to the discretion of federal regulators.”