by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
His Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS) would redress constitutional imbalance and buttress the rule of law by compelling Congress to take responsibility for the substance that executive rulemaking pours into the sometimes almost empty vessels that Congress calls “laws.”
The 165,000 pages of the Code of Federal Regulations contain tens of thousands of rules promulgated by largely unaccountable agencies that churn out more than a thousand new mandates a year. According to the Small Business Administration, regulations cost the economy about $1.75 trillion, almost twice the sum of income tax receipts. Davis says small businesses are spending $10,500 per employee on regulatory compliance. REINS would require Congress to vote on a resolution of approval concerning every “major” ($100 million economic impact) regulation. There are 212 such among the 4,128 regulations currently in the pipeline from unelected executive agencies. If the vote REINS requires did not occur within 70 days, the regulation would die.
John Marini of the University of Nevada-Reno writes in the Claremont Review of Books that the 2,500-page Obamacare legislation exemplifies current lawmaking, which serves principally to expand the administrative state’s unfettered discretion. Congress merely established the legal requirements necessary to create a vast executive branch administrative apparatus to formulate rules governing health care’s 18 percent of the economy.