House Minority Leader John Boehner has finally gotten specific about his recent call for a moratorium on new federal regulations, and TPM’s gotten a look at just what kinds of regulations — other than the obvious ones implementing health care and Wall Street reforms — that Boehner’s plan would block.
Boehner last week endorsed the REINS Act, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), which states that “any rulemaking where the estimated cost to Americans would exceed $100 million,” could not go into effect “without Congress voting on it first.” That’s short of the full moratorium for which Boehner initially called, but could nonetheless be a recipe for gridlock and ugly politics. That standard in the act would ensnare scores of new regulations every year, including both broadly popular, time-sensitive ones, and others over which remain substantial partisan disagreement.
The REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act, while it imposes burdensome congressional oversight of regulations costing more than $100 million, does contain exemptions for emergency situations, enforcement of criminal laws, national security regulations, monetary policy rules proposed by the Fed Board of Governors, and the implementation of international trade agreements. Congress would have to explicitly sign off on everything else before it could take effect.