Overregulation by our federal agencies continues to harm and threaten our economy. Many estimate compliance costs for this red tape range from hundreds of billions of dollars to more than two trillion. This burden serves to stifle job creation as well as economic growth and recovery. Our current regulatory system allows unelected bureaucrats to pass regulatory laws that were never supported by the American people or approved by Congress. Presidential appointees, as we have seen through the explosion of federal agency regulations, are not accountable to the American people. They do what the President tells them to do, often resulting in needless roadblocks and red tape. This system only serves the few at the expense of many small businesses and hard-working American families.
I proudly cosponsored H.R. 427, the REINS Act, to hold the Executive Branch accountable and provide relief for the American people. This legislation would rewrite existing law governing agency rulemaking, requiring congressional approval of major rules and regulations of the Executive Branch before they take effect. A major rule is defined as any rule that has resulted in: an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition and employment.
The REINS Act would require that Congress pass a joint resolution of approval for any major rule before such rule can take effect. This resolution must be passed within 70 days legislative days of a major rule being proposed or it will not go into effect. However, the REINS Act does allow for certain common sense exceptions. A major rule could go into effect for 90 days, without such approval, if the President determines such rule is necessary because of imminent threat to health or public safety. Other common sense exceptions include major rules involving the enforcement of criminal laws or the implementation of trade agreements.
Regulatory Integrity Protection Act:
Another prime example of executive overreach is the proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction over states and private property. For Alaskans, the WOTUS rule could create insurmountable hurdles for even the most basic activity, and cause significant damage to our local economies. With more than three million lakes, twelve thousand rivers, and thousands of streams, creeks and ponds, we must ensure that the integrity of the federal-state partnership under the Clean Water Act is preserved.
It’s entirely all too familiar of this Administration; ignoring the will of Congress and a majority of states who have come out in opposition to this decision. They must understand that they cannot and should not exclude state and local governments from this process; any attempt to do so only erodes the Republic we live in.”
On May 12, 2015, I proudly support the passage of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which overturns the EPA’s ill-conceived rule. Under the rule, the federal governments’ jurisdiction is dramatically expanded over states through the enforcement of: illegal discharges; permitting and reporting requirements ; the Environmental Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, Historic Preservation Act, 401 water quality certifications, and Corps of Engineers 404 permitting; mitigation projects.
H.R. 1732, The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act would require:
• the EPA and the Corps to withdraw its rulemaking in 30 days;
• the EPA and Corps to solicit recommendations from and consult with state and local officials, stakeholders, and other interested parties when developing a new proposed rule;
• the EPA and Corps to maintain the federal-state partnership when implementing the Clean Water Act, and take into consideration state and local input regarding geography, hydrology, and legal frameworks;
• a new proposed rule to be consistent with the Clean Water Act, Supreme Court rulings, and recommendations from state and local officials, and stakeholders.
Although legislative efforts to overturn the WOTUS rule have been vetoed by the President, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a nationwide stay on the rule on October 9, 2015. As I said when the Court blocked the implementation of the WOTUS rule, “we’ll fight this regulation in Congress and we’ll fight it in court. This rule cannot stand. While not a nail in the coffin for this egregious regulatory power grab, today’s circuit court injunction is an important step in our continued fight.”