HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ House Passes Two “Regulatory Reform” Bills
House Passes Two “Regulatory Reform” Bills

January 2017

This week, the House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at making it harder for federal agencies to issue major regulations.  The first bill, known as the Midnight Rule Relief Act, would allow Congress to strike all federal regulations issued in the last 60 days of a President's term.  While Congress already has the legislative authority to rescind any individual federal regulation with 60 legislative days of its promulgation, the Midnight Rules Relief act would allow Congress to vote once to strike all regulations issued in the final days of a President's term.

The second bill, known as the REINS Act, would require Congress to affirm any federal regulation that had more than $100 million impact on the U.S. economy.  If enacted, the REINS Act would require Congressional approval of a broad range of federal rules including, EPA clean air standards, FDA tobacco rules, CMS payment rules, and OSHA work place safety rules just to name a few.

While both bills quickly passed the House of Representatives along largely partisan lines, it is less likely the Senate will consider either bill in the immediate future.

Noting the likely negative impact these bills would have on the ability of federal agencies to protect the American public from health threats like air pollution and tobacco use, the ATS sent letters to Congress opposing both bills.

Last Reviewed: October 2017