Monday, January 4, 2016

Morgan Griffith on Reining In the Executive Branch

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith, R-VA-9:

2015: A Record Year for Overregulation

According to an analysis released last week by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2015 was a record-setting year for federal regulation.

The Hill reported on this analysis, and observed that, “This year’s daily publication of the federal government’s rules, proposed rules and notices amounted to 81,611 pages as of Wednesday [December 30], higher than last year's 77,687 pages and higher than the all-time high of 81,405 pages in 2010 — with one day to go in 2015.”

Further, “…there have been 3,378 final rules and regulations among the pages of the Federal Register this year. Some of the major final rules included the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and its Waters of the Unites States rule, as well as the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order.” An additional 2,334 proposed rules were issued last year. This is on top of President Obama’s 29 executive orders and 31 executive memorandums.

Unfortunately, because Congress for decades has ceded its constitutional responsibility of making the law of the land to the Executive Branch, these rules are not subject to effective review by the elected representatives of the American people.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 427), which I have cosponsored and voted in favor of, would require Congress to take an up-or-down vote on “major rules” (those rules that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more) within 70 legislative days. This would essentially guarantee major regulations would not become effective until approved by Congress.

Regrettably, the Senate has not acted to pass the REINS Act and force the veto President Obama has promised on this bill. The Senate must act in order to end this over-delegation that allows overregulation.