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Alabama Republican congressional delegation unanimously supports bill reining in harmful regulations

July 29, 2015
In The News

WASHINGTON — A bill which could drastically roll back many of the costly regulations passed each year by executive agencies won overwhelming support from U.S. House Republicans Tuesday, including the affirmative vote of every Republican member of Alabama’s delegation.

The “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny,” or REINS Act, would require congressional approval of every regulation which has an estimated annual economic impact of more than $100 million. The bill passed the House on a close to strict party-line vote of 243-165.

Alabama’s lone Democrat, Terri Sewell (D-AL7), is currently on a trip to Africa with President Obama, and thus was not present to vote.

“Major regulations created by administrative agencies, such as the EPA, impose large costs on the economy, and often go beyond what Congress intended,” Palmer said. “Many of these regulations would never pass if subject to the democratic process. By increasing Congressional input, the REINS Act is a good step toward correcting this problem and lessening the costs these expensive regulations place on the backs of working class Americans.”

An average of 82 of these costly regulations are implemented every year. Studies suggest the regulations implemented by the EPA alone could cost Alabamians hundreds of millions in increased electricity rates. Alabama Power has, to date, spent more than $2 billion complying with EPA regulations.

The bill establishes an expedited process for Congress to consider these regulations by limiting debate in Congress and allows for expedited procedure in the Senate. Regulations to enforce criminal laws, protect national security, implement a trade agreement, or respond to an imminent threat to health and safety would be exempt from the increased congressional scrutiny.

If the REINS Act manages to clear the 60-vote procedural hurdle in the Senate, President Obama has already issued a veto threat.