Government agencies have proposed dozens of major regulations so far this year. One is to specify the types of operating codes that can be used in custom window coverings, and the other is to effectively force the automaker to shift his two-thirds of all new passenger cars to electric technology. it is obligatory.
A House Rule That Gets Less Attention Specification If passed this month, all of these regulations would require a parliamentary vote before they could take effect.
“It may seem like it’s in the weeds, but it’s actually affecting us all,” said Susan Dudley, director of the Center for Regulatory Studies at George Washington University, who was the top regulator in the George W. Bush administration. There is.” She was one of several leading experts who didn’t know the bill contained this clause.
The Republican bill, which is not set to become law in its current form, has drawn attention primarily for its involvement in the debate about increasing the state’s borrowing limit and its proposals for reducing the federal budget deficit over the next decade. But efforts to reorganize the federal regulatory process could likely have even deeper implications for how government functions in the future.
While Congress passes laws each year, federal agencies tend to introduce even more regulations. These long, technical rules set standards for acceptable contamination, dictate the amount of medical fees paid to doctors and hospitals, and explain many of the technical or vague terms and processes contained in the law. Help companies understand how government works by explaining what you mean. The rulemaking process often takes years and requires a period of public comment before the rules are finalized.
Regulation is not politicized. As Congress becomes more polarized and deadlocked, presidents are becoming more willing to enact major policies through Congress. Barack Obama tried to use rulemaking to limit carbon emissions from power plants.Donald J. Trump used rulemaking to deny green cards to immigrants who was using Certain social welfare programs.And President Biden Wants to Leverage Regulation allow hundreds of billions of dollars on student loans.
But many of the major regulations don’t make the headlines, and most rely on the technical expertise of federal agencies, which is difficult for Congress to replicate. This year’s list includes one update to the following technical standards: Mammography A clarification of the equipment and when the gun’s function is designed that way. fired from the shoulder. Medicare Advantage’s recent payment rules changed the formula intended to pay private insurers to cover customers with vascular disease, based on a detailed review of medical data.
The bill would require Congress to approve each of these measures before they take effect, under a rapid legislative process that forces the rules to vote for or against without the possibility of amendment. A major rule that fails to pass both houses of Congress cannot be reintroduced for at least one year. Current law allows Congress to overturn regulations it doesn’t like, but the process requires a majority vote of both houses of Congress and the president’s signature, and nearly all regulations go into effect.
The bill to change this default was first drafted by then-Kentucky Republican Rep. Jeffrey Davis more than a decade ago. Mr. Davis, who comes from business, was concerned about the number of expensive regulations approved during his tenure in government.
“This gentleman asked me one question. This was the turning point for me. ‘Why can’t I vote for this?'” Davis said. “And it just clicked.”
Proponents of Mr. Davis’ idea, known as the Raines Act, which stands for government regulation requiring scrutiny, say the bill would place more of a burden on Congress to clarify what the law means. . Davis said he feels Congress too often enacts vague laws that delegate too many important decisions to the executive branch.
“It will give Congress more incentive to act more aggressively,” wrote Jonathan Adler, a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. article “We need legislators to legislate, and legislation includes being accountable for the big policy decisions that are being made.”
Of course, some people like the idea because it makes it difficult for the government to enact any regulation. It’s the same reason many regulatory experts aren’t too enthusiastic about the Reigns Act.
Jonathan Siegel, a law professor at George Washington University, said: “In an era of divided governments like ours, the real impact of this is that no major rule will ever come to pass. ‘ said. written about the bill at length.
If the Republican House wanted to deny the Biden administration’s policy victory, it would just have to vote against all proposed regulations. These could include rules explaining how key parts of last year’s anti-inflation law work. In the world of REINS legislation, simply blocking these rules by the Republican House of Representatives could effectively block legislation passed by the previous Congress.
Sally Katzen, co-director of the New York University Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic and former top regulator, said, “If you starve beasts to death by never allowing enforcement rules to be enacted, you’ve effectively voided the law. will be,” he said. Clinton administration. He noted that Republicans tend to schedule a vote on the Reigns Act when there is a Democratic president, but not when a Republican is in office.
“What they want is to make regulation impossible,” said Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan.
Disturbances can work in both directions. Trump-era rules that have had the effect of the Democratic House of Representatives cutting all family planning funding to the family planning system, limiting civil rights protections for transgender Americans, and rescinding power plant emission limits. Imagine how you voted for
Davis said it was not his intention to block the rule outright. His hope was to improve parliamentary processes. “We want the bill to be concrete enough to force bipartisan dialogue,” he said.
But Congress is already having problems drafting legislation in technical and contested areas. Many Republican lawmakers hate environmental regulations that interpret the Clean Water Act, which calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to limit pollution harmful to human health. But Congress hasn’t made any major changes to the law in decades. Simply voting on the rules for how these old laws apply to new scientific discoveries may not be enough to prompt strong new legislation.
“Even in the best of times, it’s hard to get through Congress. Now is not the best time,” Bagley said. “It’s a recipe for stagnation.”