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House Passes Legislation to Restore Accountability for High Cost Regulations

Washington, December 7, 2011 - With the support of Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge), the House of Representatives passed legislation to make high cost federal regulations subject to Congressional approval. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act or REINS Act provides a check on the authority of federal regulators to create rules and regulations found to have a major cost on the economy.

“This is a step in returning control of the federal rulemaking process to the American people,” said Congressman Posey, a cosponsor of the legislation who has made reining-in federal agencies a top priority. “The regulatory burden in this country has become so burdensome that it’s hampering our nation’s economic growth and placing U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

“Federal agencies impose more than 4,000 new regulations each year with more than 200 of these new rules having a significant cost on the economy. The annual compliance cost for small businesses is estimated to be over $10,000 per employee. This needs to change if we are going to get our economy back on track and creating jobs.”

Specifically, the REINS Act requires Congress to have an up or down vote on every new major regulation proposed by the executive branch before it can be imposed on the American people. If it fails that vote, it doesn’t go into effect. The legislation would apply to all new major regulations that has resulted in, or is likely to result in, either an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries or state and local governments. Last year 100 such rules were imposed, with no input from Congress.

Furthermore, under the REINS Act, both Congress and the President have 70 legislative days to approve a joint resolution of approval for all new major regulations. If Congress and the President do not act within that time period, the regulation is deemed to be not approved. “Most laws on the books today are made by unelected bureaucrats,” added Posey. “There needs to be more accountability in this process.”

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