The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act is the most important structural reform legislation to restore accountability to the federal regulatory process.
The bill, which passed the House 243-165 with unanimous Republican support, would require any economically significant regulation to be approved by the House and Senate and signed by the president, or subject to a veto-override, before it could take effect. In other words, we would follow the lawmaking process defined by the Constitution for the country’s most important economic policies.
While we continue to push for Senate action on this important legislation, we also recognize that President Obama has promised to veto it. It is therefore highly likely that the bill will not be signed into law until after the next presidential election.
We wanted to know where the candidates line up, so we asked all of the campaigns this simple survey question: “If elected, would you sign legislation like the REINS Act?”
We have received the following responses, which are presented in alphabetical order. We will update this page until we know where all the candidates stand on this issue.
Jeb Bush: In an August 8, 2015 speech Bush said: “One of my first objectives as President of the United States would be to pass the REINS Act… This is where a rule is proposed and if it costs more than a hundred million dollars it has to go back to Congress, the elected officials, to be able to decide whether it’s meritorious or not. Allowing unregulated bureaucrats to regulate us is not the right thing to do. We need to pull back that authority and make sure that our public elected officials are there. If we did that alone, it would release the animal spirits of our country and we would begin to see higher sustained economic growth.”
Chris Christie campaign provided the following statement: “Governor Christie supports the REINS Act and has spoken extensively on the campaign trail about his plans to get regulation under control as president. During the transition, Governor Christie would direct his team to review every rule and executive order published under the Obama administration so that the most egregious and unlawful ones can be revoked on his first day as president. He has called for the restoration of the principle that for any new regulatory change proposed that the benefits outweigh the costs. We should also impose a ‘Regulatory Zero’ rule in which for each new rule that is imposed, one of equal cost must be sunsetted or removed. Additionally, we should impose a hard cap on what it can cost for employers to complying with all federal regulation.”
Ted Cruz: “I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the REINS Act in the U.S. Senate and I would be equally proud to sign it into law as President. Congress has irresponsibly let the Federal bureaucracies run amok by allowing them to impose ideologically-driven regulations with impunity that result in lost economic growth opportunities, wage stagnation and job losses. The REINS Act takes power away from out-of-control regulatory agencies and forces Congress back to its constitutional role of making the laws. The REINS Act would force Congress to take into account the economic costs of proposed regulations before they can wreak havoc on American businesses. Methodically, deliberately and cynically, the self-dealing Washington Cartel of special interests, K-Street lobbyist and entrenched politicians in both parties, have allowed the Executive Branch bureaucrats to effectively usurp the congressional power of law-making in order to insulate themselves from accountability. This essential structural reform is not only constitutionally consistent with the Framers’ intent of Congressional accountability, it will benefit Americans by boosting economic growth and opportunity re-igniting the promise of America.”
Carly Fiorina: “I support the REINS Act because I know that government today is too big, too costly, and too corrupt to serve the American people. The weight of government today is crushing the potential of our nation.”
John Kasich released his “Kasich Action Plan” on October 15, 2015. The regulatory reform section says: “John Kasich will urge Congress to enact legislation requiring it to approve any regulation that is projected to impose more than $100 million annually on the American economy.”
Rand Paul is the lead Senate sponsor of the bill. His campaign referred us to this article with the following statement from Senator Paul: “Today, we are introducing legislation to increase transparency in the federal regulatory process. If the Obama administration wants to impose regulations that effectively operate as laws on U.S. citizens, it is important that those citizens are made aware of how the laws come to be. Cutting red tape and opening the regulatory process to scrutiny is an important first step in holding government accountable.”
Marco Rubio spokesman Alex Conant: “Marco has long supported the REINS Act, and will sign it into law as President. He’s also proposed establishing a National Regulatory Budget, which would cap and cut job-killing regulations from rogue agencies like the EPA and IRS. Regulatory reform is a key component of restoring opportunities for the middle-class in the 21st century economy.”
Rick Santorum: “I will sign the REINS Act as President, but I will also seek to have the bill amended to exempt regulations that are replacing more costly regulations. I do not want the Obama Administration’s far-reaching regulations to become the baseline against which we measure reform. We must make it as easy as possible to roll-back the Obama Administration’s regulation bonanza.”
Donald Trump: “I will sign the REINS Act should it reach my desk as President and more importantly I will work hard to get it passed. The monstrosity that is the Federal Government with its pages and pages of rules and regulations has been a disaster for the American economy and job growth. The REINS Act is one major step toward getting our government under control.”