Republican Bill Could Give Congress Veto Power over Executive Regulations

By Westwood, Sarah | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, February 10, 2015 | Go to article overview

Republican Bill Could Give Congress Veto Power over Executive Regulations


Westwood, Sarah, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


A bill that would gut federal agencies' ability to impose sweeping regulations could save $27 billion and spare government workers from more than 11 million hours of doing paperwork each year if implemented, according to an advocacy group.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act would force lawmakers to approve or deny every major rule with an economic impact of $100 million or more. The executive branch finalized 200 such rules last year, when it produced 16 times more regulations overall than the laws Congress passed over the same time period.

Right-leaning policy group American Action Forum published a study Tuesday predicting how much each state could save if the regulatory reform bill was already law and could be used to block the 12 most expensive proposed federal rules on the table from passing into regulation.

Sam Batkins, the nonprofit's director of regulatory policy and author of the research, said he envisioned the measure giving Congress the power to kill proposed rules similar to the ones he used in his research if it ever became law. He said the bill would allow lawmakers to "claw back" some of the governing power federal agencies presently hold.

While REINS opponents have expressed concerns that the bill could bog down the regulatory process, Batkins predicted Congress would spend time debating just five to 10 rules a year.

"I think if you look at the entire universe of major rules, the majority of them aren't controversial," he said.

Batkins' research used census data to determine how states would share the more than $27 billion of potential savings from his suggested REINS cuts.

His research showed California could save $6.5 billion and Florida could save $3 billion if Congress chose to disapprove a slate of major rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture, among others. …

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