A coalition of conservative groups is urging Congress to pass the REINS Act to put a stop to “backdoor regulation” from the Biden administration that they say is costing American taxpayers billions in compliance costs.
In a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., more than 30 groups – including Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the Foundation for Government Accountability – said federal bureaucrats in the Biden administration “have infiltrated the lives of Americans through a historic expansion of government” through federal regulations written by executive agencies without congressional oversight.
“Regulations can impose costs and raise prices, operating like a hidden tax on the public,” the letter states. “The current administration has tried to use regulation to conceal excessive federal spending, but runaway inflation has family budgets stretched to the breaking point.”
“Americans are now paying the price for President Biden’s regulatory spending spree, and the REINS Act is the solution,” the groups wrote.
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The “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act,” or REINS Act, would broaden the scope of the Congressional Review Act to allow lawyers to review every new “major rule” proposed by federal agencies to be approved by Congress before going into effect .
Introduced earlier this year by House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., the REINS act would specifically require the House and Senate to pass a joint resolution in order for a major rule to be approved by Congress.
With nearly 200 co-sponsors, the REINS Act is one of the most popular bills in Congress.
The bill defines 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 agencies or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation or the ability of US-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.
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The groups say the Biden administration is using a “whole of government” approach “to push the Left’s agenda through regulatory power.”
“This full-scale strategy is indifferent to procedural safeguards and transparency, and backdoor regulation has become a hallmark of the current administration,” they wrote.
The groups cite Biden administration actions – like adjusting food stamp benefits without allowing the public to weigh in, a new rule that would force companies to disclose “climate risk” information to the SEC, and Biden’s student loan bailout – as ways that unbridled regulation could cost taxpayers in the millions.
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“When the executive branch plans massive expansions of government, the elected representatives of the American people must be able to weigh in before businesses and consumers are weighed down by costly regulations,” the letter said.
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“Nameless, faceless bureaucrats control far too much of American life. Though the sheer volume of regulations is overwhelming, and Congress cannot review and approve every single regulation, it can protect the American people from the most burdensome,” the groups said.