Finally Rarin’ Back on Their Hind Legs?

Land of the Free, my arse

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, estimates that the the total cost of complying with America’s federal regulations was $1.86 trillion in 2013-about $15,000 per household

The Code of Federal Regulations now stands at 174,545 pages, compared to 22,877 pages in 1960.

Now this:

Last Tuesday, by a vote of 243 to 165, the House passed H.R. 427, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, known as the REINS Act. Introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the bill “would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more — designated by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a ‘major rule’ — to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced the companion legislation, S. 226, in the Senate.

This is a [the first?] major shot across the bow of the unaccountable, untouchable Shadow .Gov of the Regulatory Agencies. For decades Congress has passed Laws saying, essentially, The No More Bad Things Shall Happen Act, then handed the details over to a newly created [and budgeted] Agency who wrote the actual Regulations [with no input — or attention — from Our Elected Officials]. NB this is standard on the local level, too. Our Elected Representatives say, Here’s a ginormous pile of money and bureaucracy; go thou and Do Good with it. Then they wander off to a fundraiser or hi-dollar cocktail party. That is not responsible behavior.

Will it get anywhere? Dunno… The push-back AstroTurf-Back on their Facebook page [yes, these daze an Act of Congress has a Facebook page][no signup needed] is …enthusiastic, if silly:

John Russell [wrote] Ands look at the technology in 1960 … archaic and pathetc[sic] Look how they sprayedazsbestos[sic] all over everything in sight, lead and mercury in the water, etc etc etc

Yeah. Dear Ol’ Dad had a side-line in those bad ol’ days with his company, We Spray Azbestos All Over Everything In Sight!! No job too small! Lead and mercury in your water – Free! Made a mint, did he.

Again, this is from The Hill:

There is a consensus among Republicans in Congress that the regulatory state needs to be made accountable to the American people whose tax dollars fund it. The regulatory process has become a way for presidents to make an end run around Congress by legislating from the White House. The REINS Act is a way to put Congress back in the game of being a check and balance on executive action. It is one of the many ways Congress can try to make the federal government more accountable to the people.

…The REINS Act shouldn’t be an end, but a first step in getting the federal footprint reduced. Over the decades, the Republicans in the House and Senate have been complicit in increasing the size of government, warping the Constitution and taxpayers’ wallets in the process. Passing this legislation and sending it to President Obama’s desk can serve as a marker that Republicans are serious about reducing the burden of government.

A little sliver of …dare I say… Hope?


  1. ZZMike
    Posted August 13, 2015 at 11:23 am |

    There’s a tag line on one of the radio stations we get here: “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm”.

    It’s from the Federalist #10, 1787, James Madison.

    Another line, from nearby:

    The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets.

    Evidently property confiscation by eminent domain was unthinkable in his day.

    PS: He says “shilling” because the US dollar wasn’t introduced until 1792.

  2. Paladin
    Posted August 13, 2015 at 11:50 am |

    It sounds like people are trying to put at least one of Mark Levin’s “Liberty Amendments” ideas into effect.

    Rand Paul is someone I could vote for. Unlike his dad, he doesn’t make good points then keep talking until you realize he’s completely crackers.

  3. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted August 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm |

    Me, I don’t dare hope yet, Claire
    Remember the fiscal games Pelousi played to keep down the apparent cost of Uhbamacare (borrowing from Medicare, taxing for four years before implementing) to sell it before the vote?

    Then the bureaucratic weasels can also break a new rule into smaller pieces to hide the total costs, and who’s to say a slime like Uhbama wouldn’t threaten the accounting agency heads with something to sway their reports?
    Until Congress can takes a strangle hold on executive agencies, via budgets and up or down votes on everything, I see what looks like good intentions but will end up being more kabuki.

  4. DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this)
    Posted August 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm |

    A step, yes.
    Allow me to repeat myself:
    No regulation should be considered legally binding until it has been specifically enacted into law through the legislative process defined by the Constitution. Congress saying “Go make regulations” is indistinguishable from unconstitutionally ceding legislative powers/duties to the Executive Branch. Same for Executive Orders.

    (What? Yeah, I’m sure that’s why I was never named to the SCOTUS.)

  5. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted August 13, 2015 at 9:26 pm |

    ^Doug (4) Gezackly precisamundo!

  6. Paladin
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 6:46 am |

    One thing for certain is that dramatic change never is “all of a sudden”. There are always factors leading up to that change, some of them subtle.

    The statists have always been pushing for a totalitarian government. They’re getting it. Any push the other direction, even if it ends up being for show, is a push the in the other direction. But it can’t be just a one-time effort, it requires constant pushing.

  7. Paladin
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 6:48 am |

    Push it.

  8. LostLiberty
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 7:11 am |

    Hope? With Boehner and McConnell? Don’t hold your breath.

  9. Stick
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 7:16 am |

    Frankly, I hold no hope on this because:
    1. When has law stopped Bambi?
    2. How do you think the ruling class in Washington keep their jobs? Carving out exceptions for their constituents. It’s why The Fair Tax or flat tax will never pass.

  10. Nomen Nescio
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 7:38 am |


    A little sliver of …dare I say… Hope?

    Bless her heart!

  11. Buzz
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm |

    The 9th district encompasses Bloomington, which is like Austin, Portland, and San Francisco all rolled into one.
    It’s most definitely un-Indiana-like, even though it’s home to Indiana University.
    It has to make Monroe county so mad that Morgan, Jackson, and Lawrence counties are even allowed to vote. (all are fairly redneck)
    I grew up in Bloomington and only go back when I absolutely have to. The more I hear about Todd Young, the more I like.