Over the years, outgoing presidential administrations have pushed through last-minute rules that Congress can do little or nothing about. These rules are costly and have a significant negative impact on our economy. Since 2009, the estimated costs of these arbitrary regulations reached almost $2 trillion. The unelected bureaucrats in Washington aren’t the ones paying for the additional costs, hardworking American taxpayers are the ones who are paying for them.
I have talked with many small business owners in Missouri’s 7th Congressional District and their main concern is overregulation. The federal register boasts over 89,500 federal regulations, many of them outdated and ineffective. In the last year alone, over 4,000 regulations were working their way through the federal bureaucracy. Recently, President Donald Trump spoke with business leaders and said he is confident he can cut regulations by 75 percent, a comment that is a breath of fresh air to businesses everywhere.
My colleagues and I have made it one of our top priorities over the years to pass legislation that makes sure outgoing presidential administrations, regardless of their political party, can’t pass last minute rules and regulations that Congress cannot address. That’s why already this year I have supported bills such as the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.
The Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 would put in place a rapid-response method for Congress to undo last-minute rules from an outgoing administration. It would not require a minimum or maximum number of ‘midnight rules’ the Congressional Review Act can disapprove and would allow for Congress to group regulations together to overturn quickly in one single vote rather than making a potentially large number of tedious single votes.
The REINS Act requires agencies to submit any major regulations to Congress for approval, while also allowing for a quick up or down vote on the major rules within 70 legislative days. It also guarantees that any major regulation submitted to Congress must first be approved before going into effect.
A ‘major rule’ is any rule that will have an annual impact on the economy of $100 million or more, adds a significant increase in price or cost on consumers, individual industries or government agencies and negatively impacts competition, employment, investment, productivity and innovation.
The Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 and the REINS Act both create more accountability and ensure constituents have their voices heard. I’m confident that with the new administration and a unified Republican government, we will begin to weaken the federal government’s oppressive regulatory state on hardworking American taxpayers.