We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Reins Act is part of the Republican Jobs Bill, antithetical in most respects to the Democrats killing-jobs bills and regulations that we’ve suffered the past 3-years. There are 192 co-sponsors (text and sponsors) in the House, and growing. Check and see if your Congressman has signed on yet. The major media, of course, has not paid much of any attention to the Reins Act. President Obama would, of course, veto it, but he may not be in the position to do so after next year’s elections. Then, await the howls of the legions profiteering from the federal regulatory behemoth. But, Congress must be held accountable for regulations promulgated in its name.
Last week, House Speaker Boehner said of pending job-killers, “Today there are 219 such rules that are sitting in these agencies ready to come rolling out and to impose new costs on a private sector that’s struggling to keep its head above water and to create jobs.”
Amity Shlaes points out that in 1933 President Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration “had generated more paper than the entire legislative output of the federal government since 1789.” (The Forgotten Man) In 1935, the US Supreme Court found the NRA unconstitutional for infringing on the separation of powers by delegating powers to the executive properly those of the legislative branch.
Firm action by Congress to rein in costly regulation is sorely needed. Over the past few years, the cost and number of new regulations have increased dramatically. This increase did not begin with President Obama, but it has accelerated markedly during his tenure. From inauguration day 2009 through March of this year, regulatory agencies imposed some 75 major new regulations (defined as those costing $100 million or more), imposing some $38 billion of new costs annually on the economy and consumers.
This is on top of the continuing burden of the existing stock of red tape, which has been estimated at some $1.75 trillion per year. This burden not only increases costs for consumers but hinders enterprises from growing and jobs from being created.
[A] bill to increase legislative control over and accountability for federal regulatory policy. The central provisions of the REINS Act provide that new “major rules” – those regulations expected to cost over $100 million annually – may not become effective unless a joint resolution of approval passes Congress. The Act would further create an expedited review process designed to ensure that there is a prompt up-or-down vote in each house of Congress on all new “major” rules, which represent less than five percent of the 3,000-plus federal regulations promulgated each year….
The question is not whether we would have “more efficient and more effective regulation” but whether we would have regulations that more closely follow the value preferences of the American people. Existing regulatory decisions are not made by “scientists and engineers” who have regulatory authority due to their independent expertise, but by executive and independent agencies that are headed by political appointees who are granted regulatory authority by Congress. Their regulatory decisions are informed by scientific and technical information, but the ultimate regulatory choices are based on normative judgments – whether it is worth imposing X amount of costs for Y benefits, whether it is fair to impose particular costs, risks or burdens on particular segments of the population, whether environmental gains in one area are worth safety or environmental losses in another, and so on. These are legislative policy judgments for which legislators should be held accountable.
Critics of the Rein Act say it will gum up the works. But, as Heritage points out, there are not hundreds but a few dozen such regs a year, "hardly an unmanageable number." And, surely more worthwhile for Congress to analyze and act upon than much else that it does. -- Regulatory threats led to the housing values meltdown. Next Friday, in what's billed as a major speech, Mitt Romney will address government spending at Americans For Prosperity Tribute to Ronald Reagan dinner. Americans For Prosperity supports the Reins Act. Let's see if Romney does.
Critics of the Rein Act say it will gum up the works.
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That's what the Constitution - and especially the separation of powers - was meant to do: slow down the pace of new legislation.
We now have government by an unelected bureaucracy in the executive branch and by an unelected panel of Supreme Court justices. I blame Congress for planting the seeds for this noxious weed to grow and for watering it with ever expanding legislation and social programs. It's time for Congress to stop spreading its usual fertilizer and to start spraying the herbicide.
I'm concerned that it does no gum up the works enough. How about changing it to require Congress to approve every regulation more than two sentences long. And a requirement to have each Representative have to read the proposed regulation aloud and post video of the reading on line.
Actually, we have that. Its called Art. 1, Sec. 1 - "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States . . . " Only Congress can legislate. The system we have now, if not unconstitutional, is at least extra-Constitutional. Bottom line, Congress should be required to approve every single regulation. It bespeaks of how out of control our political system has become that people complain that actually forcing Congress to do their job would cause a problem by "gumming up" the works. That's a feature, not a bug, of the system propounded by the Drafters.