Transition Tracker | House Passes REINS Act

WHAT HAPPENED

On Friday, Politico reported that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is working closely with the incoming Trump administration to pass regulatory change legislation.

On January 3, Goodlatte introduced the Regulatory Accountability Act, a package of bills that would eliminate judicial deference to agencies and increase notification requirements.

On January 4, the House passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act, which would permit Congress to rollback any regulations finalized by the Obama administration in the final 60 days of his administration en masse.

On January 5, the House passed H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act by a nearly party-line vote of 237-187. The bill would require congressional approval for “economically significant” regulations passed by executive agencies. Economically significant is defined as any regulation that would have an impact of more than $100 million. If the regulation failed to pass Congress and be signed by the President in 70 days, it would be null and void.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR AFSA MEMBERS

Republicans and proponents of the legislation argue that the bill will return oversight to Congress and increase accountability and transparency before major rules take effect. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) argues that the act will ensure that the government “gets it right.”

Opponents, mainly Democrats, argue that the bill would undermine the important bureaucratic and consumer protection agencies and hamper the ability of those agencies to enact rules that are already authorized by statute.

WHAT IS AFSA DOING

AFSA supports the REINS Act and will continue advocating for its passage in the Senate.