The Corner

REIN-ing in the Regulatory State

There was an important congressional hearing last week that got overlooked in the crush of headlines from Libya, Japan, and elsewhere. And no wonder: It was a hearing of the less than scintillating House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law.

The hearing concerned the proposed REINS Act, which is an acronym for “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act,” and it would require that Congress vote on any proposed regulation that would impose a cost on the economy of $100 million or more. Imagine — making Congress take direct responsibility for the regulations it imposes on us through administrative agencies. The Left is naturally at DefCon1 against this. You can watch the hearing here, or download the excellent testimonies of pro-REINS witnesses Eric Claeys of George Mason law school and David Schoenbrod of NYU law school. Keep your eye on this one. The REINS Act would be an important measure to slow up the regulatory state.

Steven F. Hayward — Stephen F. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of a two-volume political history, The Age of Reagan.

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