Bill would require a vote of Congress for new regulations

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 8/12/2013

The U.S. House has approved a bill that would require a vote of Congress before the White House can impose a new regulation. Dubbing it the REINS Act, lawmakers supporting the House version are specifically targeting a White House crackdown on carbon emissions.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved HR367, known as the REINS Act, or Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2013, by a vote of 232 to 183 on Aug. 2. The Senate version, S15, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has resided in the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs since February.

OOIDA supports the measure.

U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., filed the House version in January and obtained 164 cosponsors along the way.

“By requiring a vote in Congress, the REINS Act will result in more carefully drafted and detailed legislation, an improved regulatory process, and a legislative branch that is truly accountable to the American people for the laws imposed upon them,” the bill text reads.

House lawmakers say they’ll use the bill to target emission standards imposed by the White House through the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Moreover, as a tax on carbon emissions increases energy costs on consumers, reduces economic growth and is therefore detrimental to individuals, families and businesses, the REINS Act includes in the definition of a major rule, any rule that implements or provides for the imposition or collection of a tax on carbon emissions,” House authors state in the bill summary.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer says the oversight and transparency described in the bill should appeal to truckers.

“We’re frustrated that we see a regulatory machine that acts without a proper review of regulations that affect our members, and nothing good comes from that,” Spencer said.

“The best example on the horizon is the misplaced zeal over body mass index and sleep disorders in highway safety. We could see the day when a de facto regulation mandates super expensive tests that may not have any direct correlation to highway safety.”

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