They went and did it. The House, primarily along party lines, voted in favor of Big Business over public health and safety by passing the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011.” It joins the “Regulatory Accountability Act” and the “Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act” as a trio of devastatingly harmful deregulation bills.
The REINS Act, along with its two ugly cousins, would seriously undermine the ability of agencies to protect the public. A vast array of new health, safety, environmental, financial and other regulatory protections would be in jeopardy.
The REINS Act would allow a new Congress to block the implementation of legislation passed by a previous Congress – without actually having to repeal popular laws. It would block the enforcement of health care, financial and environmental reforms that have already been enacted.
One of the GOP goals is to drip as much molasses into the regulatory process as possible, and REINS would do that nicely. By requiring congressional approval of agency rules, it would effectively end rule making – and that’s the plan.
The Coalition for Sensible Standards, of which Public Citizen plays a leading role, outlined the damage the REINS Act would do if it became law in a story today by the Associated Press. Among other things, the bill would: