Amidst the scandal and gridlock there are a handful of politicians in Washington D.C. who are actually trying to get things done. Rand Paul is one of them, and a major piece of legislation he drafted has just passed a crucial committee in the Senate. The REINS Act would require Congressional approval for every Federal regulation that would impose a burden of $100 million or more on the economy. The bill has passed the House already, and now that it has passed committee it’s on its way to a vote in the Senate. Rand Paul’s bill is one step closer to becoming law.
Per the Constitution, the Congress is designated with the responsibility to create law. The executive branch, in turn, is chartered with enforcing those laws. Over time, the federal agencies that have been created to enforce those laws have begun drafting their own. Certain regulations have become more powerful than legislation. The problem is, the regulations these agencies create are enacted unilaterally. This violates the executive branch’s Constitutional mandate and the of separation of powers. Rand Paul’s bill would help solve this problem and rein in this executive power grab.
The REINS Act would require a categorization and cost-benefit analysis for all regulations. Those classified as major regulations would then require a joint resolution of approval from Congress. In addition to requiring Congressional approval for all new regulations, the legislation would also require a retrospective approval of all existing regulations. Unelected bureaucrats would no longer be able to burden the economy on a whim. Rand Paul’s bill would add needed accountability to the system and restore the Constitutional checks and balances that the Founders intended.
Fortunately, deregulating seems to be a priority for Congressional Republicans. Mitch McConnell has already used a special process to repeal regulations passed by the Obama administration. With the Senate Majority Leader’s support, the REINS Act could finally become law. Rand Paul might finally succeed in passing a major piece of his own legislation.