The U.S. House of Representatives on January 5, 2017, approved by a vote of 237-187 H.R. 26, the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act” or REINS Act.
The bill would create a process for Congress to approve any federal regulation or rule that would have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more (the “major rule”). Once the major rule is affirmatively approved by Congress within 70 days of its promulgation, the regulation would go into effect.
The bill was amended on the House floor to also require federal agencies to repeal existing regulations to “…completely offset any annual costs of the new rule to the United States economy” and to begin a process to require congressional approval of all currently existing major rules.
It is unclear if or when the Senate would consider the legation. It is possible that the bill could be subjected to a filibuster in the Senate, and thus could require the support of 60 senators to advance to the president. President-elect Donald Trump has expressed his intention to sign the bill if it were to pass the Senate.
The Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate have released the names of the new members of the Ways and Means and Finance Committees.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) will remain the chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee, respectively, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) will remain the ranking member of the Finance Committee. Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) is the new ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, replacing former ranking member Sander Levin (D-MI), who recently resigned his position as ranking member (but will remain a member of the Ways and Means Committee).
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