Alexah Rogge 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of his “drain the swamp” package, Congressman Fulcher has cosponsored the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2021, introduced by Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL). This bill would reaffirm Congress’ legislative authority to review and certify rules, and inhibit costly and troublesome overreach by the executive branch in the rulemaking process.

While Congress holds the purse strings with appropriations, the executive branch under multiple administrations has drained lawmaking authority with little to no oversight. In 2016, Forbes reported that federal agencies, departments, and commissions issued 3,853 rules, while Congress and the President signed only 214 laws into effect -- nearly 18 rules for every law. Since 1995, there had been 88,899 federal rules and regulations submitted, with an average rate of 27 rules per one law passed. Notably, hundreds of those rules are marked as “major,” “economically significant,” or “significant,” categorizing them to expend at least $100 million in annual economic impact. 

The REINS Act would require every new “major rule” suggested by federal agencies to be approved through a Joint Resolution by the House and Senate before being enacted. This legislation would also sustain Congress’ ability to oppose a “non-major rule” through the same process.

A “major rule”, as defined by the REINS Act, is a federal rule or regulation that may create: 

  • an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more 
  • a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, industries, government agencies, or specific regions
  • detrimental effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the overall ability for the United States to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

“When I hear from Idahoans, it is often about the burdens of costly, time-consuming, and redundant regulations on their businesses, farms, ranches, and daily lives,” said Congressman Fulcher. You’d expect these weighty regulations would be required to be heard in front of Congress and voted on by those elected to represent -- but that’s not the case. Many of these regulations are determined by career bureaucrats at various agencies in Washington, D.C. with little to no oversight from the legislature. This is not how our Constitutional Republic was intended to operate, and it’s important for us to check this unfettered expansion of the  executive agencies.” 

Author of the bill, Rep. Kat Cammack commented, "The REINS Act is a measure that ensures Congress is the only lawmaker in the United States. This bill reasserts Article I authority that vests all legislative power in Congress and provides necessary oversight of the executive rulemaking process."

The REINS Act currently includes half of the Republican Conference as original cosponsors. Read the full bill here.