Owens and GOP Colleagues Introduce Bill Reining in Unelected Bureaucrats

Mar 10, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens joined Rep. Kat Cammack and nearly half of the Republican conference to introduce the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2021.

This bill would reassert Congress’ legislative authority and prevent excessive overreach by the executive branch in the federal rulemaking process. It would require every new “major rule” proposed by federal agencies to be approved by both the House and Senate before going into effect. The bill would also preserve Congress’ authority to disapprove of a “nonmajor rule” through a joint resolution.

The REINS Act would define a “major rule” as any federal rule or regulation that may result in: an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, government industries, government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

“For decades, unelected bureaucrats in Washington write, interpret, and enforce rules which carry the force of law. I’m proud to work with my colleagues to introduce the REINS Act to allow Congress to regain legislative oversight and accountability in their work for the American people,” said Rep. Burgess Owens.

“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,” said Rep. Kam Cammack of the new bill.

Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks stated, “Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution vests Congress with the explicit power to ‘make all laws,’ yet over time, Congress has ceded this authority overwhelmingly to a unilaterally-acting executive branch. This only threatens to become a larger problem as President Biden’s regulatory agenda looms over our nation, and leaders in Congress are needed now more than ever to hold the unelected bureaucracy accountable. Advocates of limited and accountable government thank Rep. Cammack for her leadership in introducing the REINS Act. Oversight of the executive branch is one of the most serious ways that Congress must reassert its constitutional authority.”

At the time of its introduction, the REINS Act of 2021 included over half of the Republican Conference as original cosponsors. Senator Rand Paul introduced the identical Senate version of this bill as S. 68 on January 27th.

Original cosponsors include: House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jordan and Reps. Armstrong, Arrington, Babin, Bacon, Balderson, Banks, Barr, Bentz, Bergman, Bice, Biggs, Bilirakis, Bishop, Boebert, Bost, Brady, Buchanan, Buck, Bucshon, Budd, Burchett, Burgess, Carl, Carter, Cawthorn, Chabot, Cline, Cloud, Clyde, Crenshaw, Davidson, Davis, Donalds, Duncan, Dunn, Emmer, Fallon, Feenstra, Fischbach, Fulcher, Gaetz, Garbarino, Gibbs, Gimenez, Gooden, Graves, Greene, Hagedorn, Harshbarger, Hern, Herrell, Hinson, Hudson, Issa, Jackson, M. Johnson, D. Johnson, Joyce, T. Kelly, LaMalfa, Lamborn, LaTurner, Lesko, Lucas, Mace, Mann, Massie, Mast, McClain, McClintock, McKinley, McMorris Rodgers, Miller, Miller-Meeks, Mooney, Barry Moore, Murphy, Nehls, Newhouse, Norman, Owens, Palmer, Perry, Pfluger, Posey, Reschenthaler, Rogers, Rosendale, Rouzer, Roy, Rutherford, Scott, Adrian Smith, Smucker, Spartz, Steel, Steube, Taylor, Tenney, Thompson, Tiffany, Van Drew, Van Duyne, Walberg, Walorski, Weber, Williams, Wilson, Wittman, and Young.

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