Save our Regulatory System

Three bills could upend decades of progress we’ve made in making our environment cleaner, food supply safer, financial system more reliable and much more.

The REINS Act would require big-ticket public protections — those that provide the most health, safety, environmental and economic benefits — to be approved by both chambers of Congress before taking effect. REINS is nothing more than a back-door way to gut enforcement of existing legislation and future safeguards that big-money interests do not want. It would allow Congress to block vital public protections simply by doing nothing.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act would expand a rarely used law called the Congressional Review Act, which allows a new Congress to strike down regulatory protections established in the last six months under the previous president. Instead of erasing them one at a time, as a current law requires, Midnight Rules would let Congress to wipe out dozens – perhaps even hundreds – of them at a time.

Finally, there is the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA). Even though it already takes many years for a new public protection to navigate the regulatory process, the bill would add more than 80 burdensome and time-consuming hurdles to that process — paralyzing agencies that already are struggling to operate under tight budgets.

In addition, the RAA would establish a default requirement that agencies adopt rules that are the least costly to industry, irrespective of the public benefits – overriding the Clean Air Act, the Mine Safety and Health Act, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and dozens of other laws that make protecting the public and workers the highest priority./p>

All three bills would leave tens of millions of Americans vulnerable to job losses, wage cuts, workplace and environmental disasters, and more. Eviscerating our system of public protections would allow giant corporations to devastate entire communities and get away with it.

REINS and Midnight Rules have already passed in the House of Representatives. But we can still stop the RAA, and block all three bills in the Senate.

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