House passes REINS Act

December 14, 2011

Washington – A bill that supporters suggest will ease the regulatory burden on employers by requiring major regulations to obtain congressional approval passed out of the House in a nearly partisan 241-184 vote Dec. 7.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (H.R. 10) would require regulatory agencies such as OSHA to receive approval on major or interim rules from the House and Senate within 70 legislative days of the agency submitting a report on the rule.

A major rule is defined as one in which the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines a cost of $100 million or more annually, or has “significant” adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity or innovation.

Republicans claim the legislation would bring accountability to government agencies, but many Democrats have suggested the bill would undermine efforts to issue lifesaving regulations.

Similar legislation (S. 299) was introduced in the Senate last summer and currently awaits action in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.