Amendment Text: H.Amdt.7 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

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Amendment as Offered (01/05/2017)

This Amendment appears on page H139 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Pages H124-H146]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     REGULATIONS FROM THE EXECUTIVE IN NEED OF SCRUTINY ACT OF 2017


                             General Leave

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and to include extraneous material on H.R. 26.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 22 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 26.
  The Chair appoints the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hultgren) to 
preside over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1433


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 26) to amend chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, to provide 
that major rules of the executive branch shall have no force or effect 
unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted into law, with Mr. 
Hultgren in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) and the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Johnson) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, regulatory reform plays a critical role in ensuring 
that our Nation finally achieves a full economic recovery and retains 
its competitive edge in the global marketplace. Congress must advance 
pro-growth policies that create jobs and restore economic prosperity 
for families and businesses across the Nation and make sure that any 
administration and its regulatory apparatus is held accountable to the 
American people.
  America's small-business owners are suffocating under mountains of 
endlessly growing, bureaucratic red tape; and the uncertainty about the 
cost of upcoming regulations discourages employers from hiring new 
employees and expanding their businesses. Excessive regulation means 
higher prices, lower wages, fewer jobs, less economic growth, and a 
less competitive America.
  Today, Americans face a burden of over $3 trillion per year from 
Federal taxation and regulation. In fact, our Federal regulatory burden 
is larger than the 2014 gross domestic product of all but the top eight 
countries in the world. That burden adds up to about $15,000 per 
American household--nearly 30 percent of average household income in 
2015.
  Everyone knows it has been this way for far too long; but the Obama 
administration, instead of fixing the problem, has known only one 
response: increase taxes, increase spending, and increase regulation. 
The results have painfully demonstrated a simple truth: America cannot 
tax, spend, and regulate its way to economic recovery, economic growth, 
and durable prosperity for the American people.
  Consider just a few facts that reveal the economic weakness the Obama 
administration has produced. In the December 2016 jobs report, the 
number of unemployed workers, workers who can only find part-time jobs, 
and workers who are now only marginally attached to the labor force 
stood at 9.3 percent. They number 15 million Americans. America's labor 
force participation rate remains at lows not seen since the Carter 
administration, and median household income is still below the level 
achieved before the financial crisis, which is after the entirety of 
the Obama administration.
  The contrast between America's current condition and the recovery 
Ronald Reagan achieved as President is particularly stark in that, 4\1/
2\ years after a recession began in 1981, the Reagan administration, 
through policies opposite to those of the Obama administration's, had 
achieved a recovery that created 7.8 million more jobs than when the 
recession began. Real per capita gross domestic product rose by $3,091, 
and real median household income rose by 7.7 percent.
  To truly fix America's problems, the REINS Act is one of the 
simplest, clearest, and most powerful measures we can adopt. The level 
of new major regulation from the Obama administration is without modern 
precedent. Testimony before the Judiciary Committee during recent 
Congresses has

[[Page H125]]

plainly shown the connection between skyrocketing levels of regulation 
and declining levels of jobs and growth.
  The REINS Act responds by requiring an up-or-down vote by the 
people's representatives in Congress before any new major regulation, 
which is defined in the bill generally as a rule that has an effect on 
the economy of at least $100 million, can be imposed on our economy. It 
does not prohibit new major regulation. It simply establishes the 
principle: ``no major regulation without representation.''
  The REINS Act provides Congress and, ultimately, the people with a 
much-needed tool to check the one-way cost ratchet that Washington's 
regulatory bureaucrats too often turn. During the 114th, 113th, and 
112th Congresses, the REINS Act was passed multiple times by the full 
House of Representatives, each time with bipartisan support.
  I thank Mr. Collins of Georgia for reintroducing this legislation, 
and I urge all of my colleagues to vote for the REINS Act.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I listened intently to my colleague's opening remarks, and he seemed 
to try to justify the passage of the REINS Act, which I rise in 
opposition to, by the way, by saying that it has been the Obama 
administration's job-killing regulations that have put our economy in 
its position, which is one that is not good.
  Despite trying to convince the American people of that allegation, 
the American people are aware of the facts. They are aware of the fact 
that, 8 years ago, when President Obama came into office and under a 
Republican stewardship that used trickle-down economics as its model, 
this economy neared that of the Great Depression's. In fact, we call it 
the period of the Great Recession. This country almost went into a 
depression, and it went into a Great Recession because of George Bush's 
and the Republicans' policies of trickle-down economics, which Daddy 
Bush--George Herbert Walker Bush--once referred to as ``voodoo 
economics,'' and he was right about that.

  Let's look at where we were then and look at where we are now and ask 
ourselves: Are we not better off now than we were then?
  There are not many voices that could say, No, we are not better off 
now than we were then, because they know, since then, there have been 
81 straight months of positive private sector job growth.
  They know that over 15.6 million new jobs have been added to our 
economy by President Obama. They also know that 30 million more people 
have health insurance and access to the healthcare system now than they 
did back then. They know that regulations had to ensue from the passage 
of the Affordable Care Act in order to enable those 30 million people 
to have coverage now. That is why they want to introduce this 
legislation to cut regulations. They want to try to hurt the Affordable 
Care Act. They also know that regulations had to spring forth from the 
Dodd-Frank, Wall Street regulation, legislation that was passed in this 
body. They know that those regulations have protected the finances and 
the financial security of Americans who are doing far better now than 
they were 8 years ago when President Obama took office.
  The American people know that they are much better off now. They know 
that bankruptcies have gone down. They know that foreclosures have gone 
down. They know that they have better jobs. They know that things are 
better now than they were back then.
  You will remember and the American people will remember that on the 
very day of President Obama's first inauguration, Mitch McConnell and a 
cabal of Republicans met from both the House and Senate, crying in 
their beers at a Capitol Hill bar. They embarked on a strategy to--
what?--make sure that President Obama would be a first-term President. 
So they resolved to oppose everything that he proposed, and they 
certainly did. Despite unprecedented opposition from the Republicans' 
just saying ``no'' to everything, the American people know that they 
are in a better position today than they were at this time 8 years ago 
when coming into the Obama administration.
  The Republicans want to introduce legislation to do away with the 
rules and the regulations concerning the Affordable Care Act and the 
Dodd-Frank legislation, which has protected the financial security of 
Americans over the last 8 years. That is why they come forward with 
this so-called jobs bill. This regulatory reform bill called the REINS 
Act is not going to produce or create one single job. What it will do 
is cut measures to protect the health, safety, and well-being of 
Americans.

                              {time}  1445

  This misguided legislation would amend the Congressional Review Act 
to require that both Houses of Congress pass and the President sign a 
joint resolution of approval within 70 legislative days before any 
major rule issued by an agency can take effect. In other words, this 
bill would subject new major rules to nullification by Congress through 
an unconstitutional legislative veto by one Chamber of Congress.
  Following Republican attempts earlier this week to gut ethics and 
oversight rules that are necessary to police corruption, it is telling 
that the REINS Act is the next bill that the House would consider in 
the 115th Congress. Americans should understand what the game plan is 
of the Republicans. They want the fox to guard the henhouse. That is 
why the very first act that they tried to get passed was reform of the 
House ethics regime. They wanted to neuter it, place it under the 
control of the Republican-controlled House Ethics Committee, where it 
would then languish and die like a prune on a vine that was unwatered.
  That is the first thing they came up with, and the American people 
called them on it and wouldn't let them pass it. So they have postponed 
it. America needs to keep their eyes on this Congress to make sure that 
they don't follow through with that measure that would install the 
foxes over the henhouse. What they want to do is install the corporate 
foxes over America's henhouse with this REINS Act.
  The REINS Act is central to the Speaker's so-called Better Way 
agenda, which is really only a better way for rich, corporate elites to 
further insulate themselves from public accountability and is 
emblematic of the same tired and crony-capitalist proposals that have 
been kicked around by opponents of environmental and public health 
protections since the 1980s. In fact, in 1983, Chief Justice John 
Roberts, who was then a counsel to President Reagan, criticized a 
similar proposal as unwise because it would hobble agency rulemaking by 
requiring affirmative congressional assent to all major rules and would 
seem to impose excessive burdens on the regulatory agencies.
  In addition to being an unmitigated disaster for public health and 
safety, proposals like the REINS Act will actually do major harm to 
regulatory reform attempts, as the late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in 
1981. Then a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, Justice 
Scalia cautioned: ``Those in the Congress seem perversely unaware that 
the accursed `unelected officials' downtown are now their unelected 
officials, presumably seeking to move things in their desired 
direction; and that every curtailment of desirable agency discretion 
obstructs (principally) departure from Democrat-produced, pro-
regulatory status quo.''
  Now, it is not often that I quote Justice Scalia, but, ironically, I 
do so today.
  The REINS Act also imposes deadlines for the enactment of a joint 
resolution approving a major rule that could charitably be referred to 
as Byzantine. So as not to use too lofty language, I will just declare 
that this thing is like throwing a monkey wrench in a well-oiled 
machine.
  Under new section 802, the House may only consider a major rule on 
the second or fourth Thursday of each month. In 2014, for example, 
there were only 13 such days on the legislative calendar. I think on 
the legislative calendar for 2017, there are only about 13, maybe 14 or 
15, such days where we could consider these major rules on this 
legislative calendar. I would point out that there are approximately 80 
such rules of importance that come through in a typical year.

[[Page H126]]

  Furthermore, under new section 801, Congress may only consider such 
resolutions within 70 legislative days of receiving a major rule. This 
creates a lot of red tape that threatens to end rulemaking as we know 
it, and that is the exact, precise intent of this Congress. Even if 
agencies reduce the number of major rules in contemplation of a bill's 
onerous requirements, Congress would still lack the expertise and 
policy justifications for refusing to adopt a major rule.
  As over 80 of the Nation's leading professors on environmental and 
administrative law noted in a letter in opposition to a substantively 
identical version of this bill, without this expertise, any 
``disapproval is therefore more likely to reflect the political power 
of special interests, a potential that would be magnified in light of 
the fast-track process.''
  Lastly, by flipping the process of agency rulemaking so that Congress 
can simply void implementation by not acting on a major rule, the REINS 
Act likely violates the presentment and bicameralism requirements of 
Article I of the Constitution.
  It is my pleasure to oppose this bill. I urge my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle to do the same.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Marino), the chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the REINS 
Act. I would like to thank my colleague from Georgia (Mr. Collins) for 
taking charge of this bill in the 115th Congress and Judiciary Chairman 
Goodlatte for quickly bringing it to the floor.
  This week and next, the primary focus of debate here in the House is 
the stranglehold of regulation on the economy and its intrusion into 
the everyday lives of Americans. These onerous burdens are well-known 
to Members of Congress on both sides.
  Over the past several years, I have spent countless hours traveling 
across the nearly 6,600 square miles of my district. I have met with my 
constituents in their homes, in their workplaces and social halls. They 
have pleaded with me for release from the regulations that limit their 
ability to prosper, innovate, and grow.
  Unlike the nameless, faceless, ever-growing bureaucracy here in 
Washington, we have listened to the people's concerns. We have made 
regulatory reform a priority and the focal point for jump-starting our 
economy. By placing final approval of major regulations in the hands of 
Congress, the REINS Act is an important launch point in our efforts to 
dismantle the administrative state and make government more accountable 
to the American people.

  Our Founders vested in Congress--and Congress alone--the power to 
write the laws. Unfortunately, over our history, we have delegated much 
of that power away. The Founders could not have imagined our current 
scenario where the complaints of many fall on the deaf ears of an 
unelected few in Washington.
  Thinking over the past 8 years, the REINS Act could have prevented 
numerous regulations that the American people knew were threats to 
their very way of life. Perhaps a trillion dollars in costs could have 
been avoided. I cannot even imagine how many jobs might have been saved 
or created if we avoided the regulatory barrage brought on by the Obama 
administration.
  For example, we could have prevented the waters of the United States 
regulation that impacts the farmers near my home in rural Pennsylvania. 
The FCC's net neutrality rule might have been overturned, a classic 
rulemaking bait and switch where the FCC ignored the mountains of 
public comment to achieve its own political ends. An unaccountable sum 
of environmental regulations might have been avoided before destroying 
large swaths of our industry and imposing huge costs on taxpayers.
  Our prime takeaway from these instances and others is that the 
runaway regulators issued wide-ranging and economy-destroying 
regulations with complete disregard for the hardworking American 
citizens whose livelihoods were at stake.
  Today we take an important step to reassert the voice of the American 
people in our government. The REINS Act reestablishes the Congress as 
the final judge of whether or not any particular regulation actually 
does what the Congress meant it to do.
  Returning this responsibility to the branch of government most 
attentive and accountable to the people adheres to the principles of 
our Nation's founding. It is an effort that all elected to Congress 
should support.
  I urge my colleagues to support the REINS Act.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the 
eloquence of the gentleman from the great State of Tennessee (Mr. 
Cohen), my friend out of the great city of Memphis.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I don't know if I can live up to those 
words, but I certainly appreciate them.
  I was the ranking member on this committee, and I was chair at one 
point. We have had this bill over the years. It is indeed a monkey 
wrench or a monkey in the wrench, as John McCain might have said. It 
will mess up the entire system that we have of Congress passing laws, 
delegating, giving the executive the ability to enact them in ways that 
make them functional and appropriate and come up with the details that 
the Congress does not have enough expertise to do.
  The other side refers constantly to people that prepare these rules--
which take many, many years and have much, much input--as bureaucrats, 
as if it is some type of pejorative. Bureaucrats are government 
employees who have expertise in certain areas and who study an area and 
become so much more expert than we are on the subject that they can 
come up with fine-tuned laws that are checked and balanced to make sure 
that the laws are implemented in the way that Congress intends. If 
Congress doesn't like it, Congress can pass a bill by both House and 
Senate to repeal it. We have already got that possibility.
  Under this unique approach, either one of the houses of Congress can 
stop a regulation, a rule from going into effect because both Houses 
would have to approve a rule and the President would have to sign it 
before it could go into effect. That gives one House the ability to 
veto, basically, an executive action.
  It is the executive in our system that has the power to veto acts of 
the legislature and not vice versa. We can pass laws in a bicameral 
spirit, which is what our Constitution has, when the House and the 
Senate agree. But neither House, independently, is given any power to 
veto laws or legislation. This would break that and, I believe, be 
unconstitutional. That is why I oppose H.R. 26, the Regulations from 
the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017.
  Indeed, the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act is most appropriate 
this year as we start, because in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, we are, 
indeed, going to have an executive in need of scrutiny. So I thank the 
Republicans for naming this bill appropriately because we are, indeed, 
in the times of an Executive in need of scrutiny.
  We need scrutiny over income tax returns that have been hidden from 
the public that might disclose conflicts of interest or loans from 
characters that might be considered oligarchs and have some type of an 
influence over our foreign policy and our domestic.
  We need an Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act that deals with these 
conflicts, with income taxes that haven't been released, with 
businesses in the District where people could go to hotels and curry 
favor with the Executive.
  Indeed, we do have an Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, so I 
appreciate the well-named bill that the Republicans have brought us and 
the awareness that, through this bill, they have seen that we need some 
concern about the Executive coming because he certainly needs scrutiny.

                              {time}  1500

  This bill, though, is the worst of corporate special interest because 
it will give corporate special interests the opportunity to override 
rules that take effect unless both Houses pass them. It is difficult 
enough for this House and the Senate to get legislation passed in the 
days that we often give to legislation, but to have both Houses have to 
agree, in which case if you can't, it is, in essence, a pocket veto, 
and it doesn't even have to be scheduled for a

[[Page H127]]

vote because the House would have to positively pass and the Senate 
positively pass. So if the Speaker doesn't want to do it, the Speaker 
can pocket veto the regulation. It doesn't even have to be scheduled.
  This is not draining the swamp. It will heighten the influence of 
corporate lobbyists in Congress where they can come to the Speaker and 
ask that agency rules they don't like that might protect the lives of 
children because they are regulations dealing with toys that seem to 
possibly be defective, or automobiles where they need safety devices, 
or other consumer protections that interfere with business interests--
business is good and important, but sometimes businesses do things that 
are injurious to the public.
  To give this opportunity to stop rules and regulations from going 
into effect that protect the public is wrong. It was suggested maybe it 
will help the economy, but at what cost? What is one life worth--or 
several lives--if lives are lost because safety regulations are not 
approved by this House and the Senate, or one or the other, and then 
don't go into effect? As I mentioned, this is seriously 
constitutionally defective.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield the gentleman an 
additional 1 minute.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, the ranking member mentioned Justice Scalia. 
I will mention Chief Justice John Roberts who criticized nearly 
identical legislation in the 1980s when he was a White House lawyer 
because it would ``hobble agency rulemaking by requiring affirmative 
congressional assent to all major rules'' such that it would ``seem to 
impose excessive burdens on regulatory agencies.'' That was John 
Roberts.
  Some of the underlying facts given were about the economy. No matter 
what you say, President Obama has been effective on the economy. We 
saved the housing market. We saved this country from the Great 
Recession. We brought about recovery. That is not something we should 
disparage but we should praise. The stock market has gone up to record 
highs. Unemployment is down. Jobs are up. The automobile industry has 
been saved.
  I ask Members to reject this bill because it is unconstitutional. It 
will cost lives of American citizens because safety regulations won't 
be passed.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, it is my pleasure to yield 3 minutes to 
the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Farenthold), a member of the Judiciary 
Committee.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Chairman, our Founding Fathers intended for us to 
have a limited government. If they saw what we have today, they would 
be appalled. Our government has gotten huge. It is out of control, and 
an alphabet soup of government agencies and unelected bureaucrats are 
writing the laws. They call them regulations, but they have the effect 
of laws.
  I am going to disagree with my friend and colleague from Tennessee, 
any power these agencies have to write regulations was delegated to 
Congress. We are pulling some of that power back, back to Congress, 
back to people elected by the people; in fact, to where the Founding 
Fathers put it in Article I of the Constitution.
  That is why I am here today, to support the REINS Act. It says that 
if an agency enacts a regulation that has an economic impact of more 
than $100 million, that has to come back before Congress for a positive 
vote before it takes effect.
  Now, quite frankly, because the Constitution vests all of the 
legislative power in Congress, I think every single regulation that one 
of these agencies does should have to come back before Congress, but 
the REINS Act is a great start.
  Throughout President Obama's administration, a flood of regulations 
has put extreme pressure and burdens on American job creators and 
American families. Take, for example, the EPA's waters of the U.S. 
rule. It is a power grab by the EPA attempting to regulate any body of 
water on a private land basically that is any bigger than a bathtub. It 
goes way beyond what the Clean Water Act says they can do.
  Using its new interpretation of WOTUS, the EPA has full authority to 
bully land-owning American citizens like Wyoming rancher Andy Johnson 
who got a permit from the State and local government to build a stock 
pond so his cattle could have something to drink. Well, guess what, the 
EPA said, nope. They came in after the fact and said: if you don't take 
that out, we are going to hit you with $37,500 a day in fines. Finally, 
after drawn-out litigation, the EPA was slapped back and Johnson's $16 
million in fines was erased.
  This is just one of the many examples of the huge power grab these 
Federal agencies are doing.
  We need people who are elected and answerable to the American people 
writing the laws, not unelected bureaucrats. That is why we need the 
REINS Act, and that is why we need to restore the constitutional power 
granted to this body in Article I. The REINS Act is a great start, and 
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting it.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, my friend from Texas cites Article I giving the 
legislative branch authority to make the laws, and no one can argue 
with that. However, I would point out that Article II, section 3 
imposes upon the President, the executive, the obligation to take care 
that the laws are faithfully executed, and so rulemaking comes up under 
that authority, that constitutional authority. So what we have is a 
move by the legislative branch to intrude upon and to indeed regulate. 
And certainly we have that power to do so. But is it wise? Is it 
prudent? Or does it simply positively impact our campaign contributors, 
the people who put money into our campaigns? Is that the sole reason 
why we are doing this?

  We need to give care and thought into what we are doing here in 
Congress in this House of Representatives even though one party has all 
of the power now. They have the majority in the House, they have the 
majority in the Senate, and they have an incoming President. It doesn't 
mean they should go off the rails with a philosophy that is not in 
keeping with where the American people are.
  I would point out to them that there is no mandate that they have, 
even though they do have control of the legislative branch and the 
executive branch of government and they have held up, what some say 
actually stolen an appointment for the U.S. Supreme Court that 
President Obama was placed in a position to make last February upon the 
untimely demise of Justice Scalia. So since February, the U.S. Supreme 
Court has had to suffer through politics being played by the 
legislative branch in not confirming a presidential appointee, and now 
they have the opportunity to make that appointment under these 
conditions.
  Even though they have played loose and fancy with the protections of 
the Constitution and with the well-being of the American people and 
indeed our Republic by playing these political games, I would ask my 
friends on the other side of the aisle to stop and think about what 
they are doing and the ramifications of it. Even though you want to get 
at the EPA to make it easier for oil companies to pollute our 
environment without regulations to prevent it from happening, is that 
good for our Nation? Is it good for our children? Is it good for our 
elderly? How does it leave us with regard to asthma rates which have 
continued to skyrocket in this country? Do you want to gut the Dodd-
Frank Wall Street reform to put us back in the situation where people 
are losing their homes and banks are being bailed out because they have 
become too fat to fail? Do we want to put ourselves back in that 
position again? Well, if we do then we will pass regulations like this 
one, the so-called REINS Act.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, at this time, it is my pleasure to yield 
2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Bishop), a member of the 
Judiciary Committee.
  Mr. BISHOP of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I thank Chairman Goodlatte for 
all of his leadership on this matter.
  I rise today in strong support of H.R. 26, the REINS Act, which will 
restore the constitutional authority of Congress and rein in runaway 
government.
  Mr. Chairman, as we have seen over the last 8 years, our economy has 
been strangled by Federal regulations which are burying small 
businesses and families. Federal regulations imposed on

[[Page H128]]

America's job creators and households created a staggering economic 
burden of almost $2 trillion in 2014. That is almost $15,000 per U.S. 
household, and 11.5 percent of America's real GDP.
  But today, the House has an opportunity to cut through the red tape 
and restore the balance of powers. Economic growth cannot happen from 
Washington, D.C., it can only come from Main Street. That is why I 
adamantly oppose unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats issuing their 
own closed-door regulations in place of congressional regulations. The 
REINS Act will restore Congress' Article I powers and give a voice back 
to the American people. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting for 
H.R. 26.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, at this time, I am pleased to yield 3 
minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Trott), currently a member 
of the Judiciary Committee but soon to move to another committee.
  Mr. TROTT. Mr. Chairman, I thank Chairman Goodlatte for yielding me 
the time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 26, the REINS 
Act. In a minute, I want to share an experience I had a few months ago 
which will explain why, aside from the Constitution, I think it is 
important that we rein in unelected bureaucrats.
  When we talk about regulatory reform, it is sometimes hard to 
understand the impact regulations have on our economy. That is for the 
simple reason that someone who goes in for a job interview never sits 
there and is told by the employer: I would love to offer you the job, 
but I can't because of the crushing regulatory burden coming out of 
Washington. And that is because the crushing burden of regulations 
causes the job not to be created in the first place; and, hence, there 
is no interview for the job.
  The experience I had a couple of months ago, I was back home, and I 
met with the Michigan Restaurant Association. There were 8 or 10 folks 
sitting around and telling me about the issues that are important to 
them. They said they were dying because of the EPA, because of the FDA, 
because of the EEOC, because of the ACA, because of the overtime rule 
from DOL, and because of the CFPB. I quickly surmised that the 
restaurant industry is dying, and it is death by acronyms. That is what 
is happening in this country. That is why we are not creating jobs.
  If you come in from the airport, you come across the 14th Street 
bridge and you enter the city, all you see is cranes. There was never a 
recession in Washington. Today, there are 277,000 people who write and 
enforce rules in this country in Washington, D.C., and around the 
country. That is more than the entire employee base of the VA.
  A few minutes ago, my friend from Tennessee said that all of these 
great regulations have saved our country. Well, if that had happened, I 
would have expected a different result on November 8.
  A few minutes ago, my friend from Georgia, who I was proud to serve 
on the Judiciary Committee with, talked about all of the problems with 
our plan.

                              {time}  1515

  I say to my colleague, the next time you pull up in front of your 
favorite Outback Steakhouse restaurant and it is closed, it is not 
because the cook quit, it is not because of the cost of beef, and it is 
not because the restaurant was poorly managed. It is because of death 
by acronyms. I ask everyone to support H.R. 26. It is time we rein in 
unelected bureaucrats, follow the Constitution, and create some jobs.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I am sorry to see my friend, 
Mr. Trott, leaving the Judiciary Committee. We have appreciated his 
being there and we hate to see him go, but the gentleman is going on to 
bigger and better things.
  I would say to the gentleman that it is surprising to me that the 
Bloomberg Government reports show that of all of the job cut 
announcements made by industry during the year of 2016--and that was a 
year, by the way, which was not unlike previous years. Basically, the 
Obama administration has created about 1.9 million new private sector 
jobs per year.
  I am just startled by this statistic here for the year 2016 as far as 
the number of job cut announcements by reason. The reason given for 
government regulation being responsible for the job cut is 1,580. That 
is out of 1.9 million new jobs created during the entire 2016 year, 
1,580 jobs lost due to government regulation. That's almost as many as 
were lost due to the listeria outbreak, legal trouble, or grain 
downturn. Government regulation, 1,580 jobs lost out of 1.9 million 
created.
  So this argument that we keep hearing from my friends on the other 
side of the aisle that there is a strangulation or a stranglehold on 
job creation by Obama's regulations, nothing could be more false than 
that.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask how much time is remaining on 
our side?
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia has 15 minutes remaining. The 
gentleman from Georgia has 5 minutes remaining.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Rothfus).
  Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Chairman, I thank Chairman Goodlatte for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 26, the REINS Act. 
This bill is the beginning of making America great again. That is 
because it puts Americans back in charge of the laws being imposed upon 
them.
  How does the legislation do that?
  Under our Constitution, we have three branches. The executive branch 
is supposed to enforce the law. The judicial branch is supposed to 
resolve disputes arising under the law. The legislature--this House and 
the Senate, the branch directly elected by the people--is supposed to 
make the law.
  Over the last decades, we have seen more and more of the lawmaking in 
this country migrate to the unelected bureaucrats in the executive 
branch. Those bureaucrats churn out regulation after regulation that 
have the full force and effect of law. The problem with this setup is 
that the people of this country are supposed to consent to laws being 
imposed upon them. They do that through their elected representatives 
in Congress. In short, this legislation goes to the heart of what self-
rule is all about.
  Let me be clear: this legislation does not end regulation. It is the 
beginning of accountability for regulation. If there is a good 
regulation that a Member believes makes sense and does not unduly 
burden jobs and wages, that Member may vote to approve the regulation. 
If the people that Member represents disagree, they get to hold him or 
her accountable at the ballot box.
  My colleagues across the aisle should not fear taking responsibility 
for the laws and regulations coming out of Washington, D.C. Over the 
last 7 years, Washington regulations have hurt many working families. 
We have seen coal miners and power plant workers lose good jobs. We 
have seen small, Main Street community banks and credit unions forced 
into mergers. We have seen farmers worried about puddles on their 
farms. We have seen people lose their health insurance and their 
doctors, and we have seen the Little Sisters of the Poor have their 
religious freedom threatened--all without the consent of the people.
  It is time for the people, Mr. Chairman, to put the American people 
back in charge and not the unelected bureaucrats. Let's take the power 
away from Washington. Let's restore self-rule. Let's pass this bill.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I have just tallied up the 
number of jobs that would be created by passage of this legislation. I 
did that by multiplying by eight the figure of 1,580, which is the 
number of jobs lost due to government regulation in 2016. If I multiply 
that eight times, I come up with 12,640 jobs. That is how many jobs 
would be created by this legislation--a paucity.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Iowa (Mr. Young).
  Mr. YOUNG of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the REINS 
Act, legislation that I and many of my colleagues are proud to have 
cosponsored to help bring expensive and expansive regulations under 
control.

[[Page H129]]

  Over the past several years, major regulations have cost small 
businesses, States, local government, and individuals billions of 
dollars and have cost them jobs. So this is a commonsense bill to 
enhance transparency and give Americans greater say in their 
government, and I thank Representative Collins of Georgia and Chairman 
Goodlatte for their leadership on this issue.
  By requiring Congress to approve any major regulation with an annual 
economic impact of $100 million or more on the economy, the bill opens 
the process so our constituents--the people--can have their voice heard 
in the process.
  I'm also pleased an amendment I offered last year, which was accepted 
by this body, is included in the bill's base text, section 801. That 
provision requires more transparency by forcing agencies to publish the 
data and justification they are using to issue the rule. It's important 
the American people have access to the information in which these 
conclusions are made. Section 801 directs the regulatory bodies to post 
publicly the data, studies, and analyses that they use to come up with 
their rules and conclusions so that we can all be on the same page. 
Transparency.

  Too often I hear concerns from Iowans about how overreaching 
regulations are hurting their farms and businesses and impacting their 
daily lives. From how our kids are taught, how we manage our personal 
finances, or even drain the water in our communities, we have seen how 
regulations and those who craft them have an enormous impact.
  I hear from constituents how these regulations are out of touch, 
don't reflect the basic, fundamental understanding of the important 
sectors driving our economy or the daily lives of Iowans and all 
Americans. These regulations, which have the full force of law, are 
putting Americans out of work and increasing costs for consumers.
  The REINS Act is an important, commonsense bill to help address this 
problem. We must do more. I appreciate Chairman Goodlatte's commitment 
to work with me on my Fingerprints bill to ensure further transparency 
and accountability by naming those who author and write these 
regulations. I thank Chairman Goodlatte and Representative Collins of 
Georgia for prioritizing the REINS Act.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, there are approximately 2.8 million civil servants out 
there. Americans who work for the Federal Government go to work every 
day. They work hard and play by the rules. They have a good, middle 
class job. Your jobs are at stake, Federal employees.
  There are those who say that we have too many Federal employees. 
Well, the number of Federal employees that we have now is at the same 
level as they were in 2004, which was when President Bush was in 
office. Basically we are at a 47-year low, as far as the number of 
Federal employees, since 2013.
  The Federal regulatory regime, which is just simply Federal workers--
Federal civil servants--is not out of control, but your jobs are going 
to be lost when these Republicans finish doing what they want to do to 
these regulations.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Lance).
  Mr. LANCE. Mr. Chairman, I thank Chairman Goodlatte for his fine work 
on this important issue.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the REINS Act because 
it fulfills a promise Congress made to American businessowners to get 
onerous regulations off the backs of job creators.
  It sets a very reasonable standard. If a new regulation has an 
economic impact of $100 million or more, it needs to come to Congress 
for an up-or-down vote. Congress will then have a say. We will debate 
the merits, and then we will decide.
  The Obama administration handed down a record-breaking 600 major new 
regulations imposing hundreds of billions of dollars in costs on the 
U.S. economy and millions of hours of compliance busywork on the 
employers and employees across the country.
  All of that excessive red tape places a huge burden on small- and 
medium-sized businesses that create jobs in New Jersey, the State I 
represent, and across the Nation. I have toured quite a few businesses, 
and the consensus is clear: let American workers innovate, build, and 
create, and not spend time complying with regulations that are 
impractical and often a waste of time and money.
  The REINS Act is constitutional. It does not violate the Chadha 
doctrine because it does not permit Congress to overturn valid 
regulations. Also, a joint resolution satisfies the bicameralism and 
presentment requirements of the Constitution.
  The REINS Act will bring an important check against out-of-control 
Federal regulations and foster stronger economic growth. It is an 
important start to the agenda of the 115th Congress, and I urge all of 
our colleagues to support this important piece of legislation.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, how much time do we have 
remaining on each side?
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia has 3\1/2\ minutes remaining. 
The gentleman from Virginia has 9 minutes remaining.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Yoho).
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Chairman, I stand here today with an urgent plea to my 
colleagues. We were elected by the good men and women of the United 
States who believe in our vision of America and who believe in our 
dedication to doing whatever it takes to ensure the American Dream is 
alive and achievable. It is for these reasons the REINS Act must pass.
  Federal regulations imposed on American the job creators and 
households, an estimated $1.9 trillion burden in 2015.
  Who pays that?
  The American citizen does. It costs on an average, as Chairman 
Goodlatte brought up, $15,000 per U.S. household.
  Could that money be better used to offset the cost of a college 
education or maybe the staggering cost of health care due to the 
Affordable Care Act?
  Let me give you a real-life illustration from my district. A couple 
of years ago, a constituent, a dairy farmer, was targeted by an 
incredibly vague, broad, and costly EPA rule called WOTUS, Waters of 
the United States. The EPA sued and won this case not due to 
environmental damage, but due to the vagueness of this rule and the 
determination in court. It cost my constituent over $200,000 in fines 
and court costs for a natural depression in his pasture that the EPA 
determined could qualify as navigable waters.
  The rule states that any water or any land that becomes seasonably 
wet is affected. I live in Florida. We get 54 inches of rain a year. 
That is my whole State of Florida.

  This is downright outrageous. This is just one example of the many 
times the EPA has overstepped its authority by enforcing vague 
regulations unfairly on individuals. The REINS Act will prevent these 
costly job-killing regulations from going into effect and safeguard 
against Federal bureaucrats imposing the heaviest burdens on the 
American economy, and this will increase the livelihood of the American 
people.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Garrett).
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the REINS Act, 
H.R. 26, for any number of reasons.
  I can't help but point out that I have heard my esteemed colleagues 
in opposition to this bill refer on multiple occasions to the Federal 
bureaucracy as a well-oiled machine. Mr. Chairman, there are, indeed, 
well-oiled machines that undergird this institution, but I would submit 
the Federal bureaucracy is not one of those.
  We have heard that the regulatory burden, as it relates to the loss 
of jobs, is equal to a listeria outbreak. What I would submit is that 
if we could avoid a listeria outbreak, would we not choose to do just 
that?

[[Page H130]]

  


                              {time}  1530

  While looking at the loss of jobs as related to Federal regulation, 
we overstep the argument by avoiding the jobs not created as a result 
of Federal regulations. Should these things also not be amongst the 
items that we consider?
  A wise man once said that the bureaucracy will continue to expand to 
meet the expanding needs of the bureaucracy. In 2017, in the United 
States, indeed, it seems we find ourselves in that very situation.
  Arguments that the REINS Act is contrary to the Constitution, I would 
submit, are actually 180 degrees from the truth. In fact, Article I of 
the Constitution gives the power to make law to this legislative branch 
of our government and gives the power to generate revenue, here, as 
well as spend.
  The definition of ``law,'' according to the Oxford Dictionary, is: 
``The system of rules which a particular country or community 
recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may 
enforce by the imposition of penalties.''
  I will submit that the very regulatory overreach that we consider 
here today is, in fact, tantamount to law and extraconstitutional in 
and of itself.
  My esteemed colleague from Pennsylvania suggested, and I agree, that 
the REINS Act is but a good start. The power to spend is Article I. The 
power to make laws is Article I.
  REINS is a rudder on the ship of constitutionality that will right 
that ship and move it only in the correct direction. Regulations that 
have the power to take liberty or property rights or the wealth of 
those earned by their own labor are tantamount to law and, indeed, 
extraordinary constitutionally as it relates to an executive branch 
entity, and they should not be exercised.
  Mr. Chairman, we hear that the people's House is responsible for this 
and the people's House is responsible for that. Well, the people's 
House is to ensure that the people have a voice in the matters of 
spending and lawmaking that our Founders who laid out Article I of the 
Constitution envisioned, and currently, that is simply not the case. 
H.R. 26 is simply a step back towards that right direction of 
constitutionality.
  With that in mind, I strongly support the legislation.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Perlmutter), my friend.
  Mr. PERLMUTTER. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman just spoke about liberty. 
My friend from Pennsylvania spoke about self-rule. Today we are talking 
about bureaucrats, but what we really should be talking about is the 
effect of this bill on our agencies in Homeland Security and our 
intelligence agencies, given the unprecedented intrusion by the 
Russians in our elections and other affairs of this Nation. If we don't 
stay focused on that liberty and the foundation for freedom so that 
another country doesn't interfere with our affairs, we as Members of 
Congress are ignoring the oath that we just took 2 days ago.
  So I would suggest to my friends that I appreciate there can be 
overregulation, but I would suggest you have to look closely at how 
this bill affects our ability to protect our liberties and our freedom. 
I am afraid it affects it badly, in the face of interference that we 
haven't seen from another country since 1776.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Kelly).
  Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I come from the private 
sector; so when I come to the House and I listen to the debate going 
back and forth, I almost feel like I am somebody not from a different 
planet, but from a different galaxy.
  When we talk about overregulation, when we talk about the effects of 
unelected bureaucrats leveling on the American people $2 trillion and 
an impact to the economy, then somebody ought to sit up and listen.
  All we are talking about is scrutiny, scrutiny of any piece of 
legislation, any executive order that comes out that is going to have 
an impact of $100 million or more on the economy. Around here, $100 
million sounds like nothing. From where I am from, it is unbelievable 
that we would even think that $100 million should be the point that we 
look at.
  What could be more common sense than to look at the heavy burden we 
are putting on everyday Americans and saying that, somehow, unelected 
bureaucrats who have never walked in their shoes, who have never done 
their job, who have never worried about meeting a payroll, who have 
never had to worry about regulation and taxation that make it 
impossible for them to compete, these poor, stupid folks just don't get 
it?
  705,687 people in your districts are who you represent. Whether they 
voted for you or not is not the point. The point is we represent them. 
Why in the world would Congress cede its power to the executive branch 
and to unelected bureaucrats to determine what the American people are 
going to be burdened with? It is just common sense. Why can't we not 
see what is right in front of us right now?
  I invite you to please go home to your districts, walk in those 
shops, walk in those little towns, talk to those people and find out 
the two things that really inhibit them from being successful are 
overtaxation and overregulation. We can handle both those things right 
here in the people's House.
  This is not a Democratic House. This is not a Republican House. This 
is America's House. We should be looking at things that benefit the 
American people.
  If we truly want to act in a bipartisan way, then let's stop this 
back-and-forth debate about what Republicans want, what Democrats want, 
and let's talk about what is good for the American people. That is who 
sent us. That is whose responsibility we have on our shoulders. If we 
can't do that, we ought to go home.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  As far as unelected bureaucrats that we have heard people rail 
against, speaker after speaker today being concerned, those are nothing 
more than the civil servants that make our government work. They 
protect our water, protect our air. They protect us, as a matter of 
fact--the FBI, the law enforcement. These are good people who go to 
work every day, work hard, like my dad did, for instance. He was a 
civil servant. I guess you could call him an unelected bureaucrat. He 
did everything during his job that he needed to do, and he retired with 
dignity.

  There are so many others who work for the post office. They work for 
TSA, Homeland Security. They are doing nothing but working a job 
honestly, and they deserve more than to be referred to derisively. We 
need them.
  Mr. Chair, I am in opposition to this legislation. We need real 
solutions for real problems. In stark contrast, however, the REINS Act 
attempts to address a nonexistent problem with a very dangerous 
solution.
  We need legislation that creates middle class financial security and 
opportunity, not legislation that snatches that away.
  We need sensible regulations that protect American families from 
economic ruin and that bring predatory financial practices to an end.
  We need workplace safety regulations that ensure hardworking 
Americans who go to work each day are protected from hazardous 
environments on the job.
  We need strong regulations that protect the safety of the food that 
we eat and the air that we breathe and the water that we drink.
  Unfortunately, H.R. 26 does nothing to advance those critical goals. 
This explains why more than 150 organizations strongly oppose this 
legislation, including Americans for Financial Reform; the American 
Lung Association; Consumers Union; The Humane Society of the United 
States; the League of Conservation Voters; Public Citizen; the American 
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Earthjustice; the 
Coalition for Sensible Safeguards; the American Public Health 
Association; the Environmental Defense Action Fund; the Center for 
American Progress; and the Trust for America's Health. I, therefore, 
urge my colleagues to oppose H.R. 26.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  During this debate, my friends on the other side of the aisle have 
raised quite a few false alarms:

[[Page H131]]

  If this bill passes, all important regulation will stop, they say. 
But that is not true. All regulation that is worthy of Congress' 
approval will continue;
  If this bill passes, expert decisionmaking will stop because Congress 
will have the final say on new, major regulations, not Washington 
bureaucrats. That is not true.
  Congress will have the benefit of the best evidence and arguments 
expert agencies can offer in support of their new regulations. Congress 
is capable of determining whether that evidence and those arguments are 
good or not and deciding what finally will become law. That is the job 
our Founding Fathers entrusted to us in the Constitution. We should not 
shirk from it.
  I will tell you, though, what will stop if this bill becomes law: the 
endless avalanche of new, major regulations that impose massive, 
unjustified costs that crush jobs, crush wages, and crush the spirit of 
America's families and small-business owners. Think about what that 
will mean to real Americans who have suffered the real burdens of 
overreaching regulations.
  Support the American people and listen to the major organizations 
across the country, which I include in the Record, who support H.R. 26, 
the REINS Act.
  Support the American people. Support the REINS Act.

                   Support for H.R. 26, the REINS Act

       American Center for Law and Justice, American Commitment, 
     American Energy Alliance, American Fuel & Petrochemical 
     Manufacturers, Americans for Limited Government, Americans 
     for Prosperity--Key Vote, Americans for Tax Reform, 
     Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General 
     Contractors, Club for Growth--Key Vote, Competitive 
     Enterprise Institute, Credit Union National Association, 
     Family Business Coalition, FreedomWorks--Key Vote.
       Heating Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors 
     International (HARDI), Heritage Action--Key Vote, Let Freedom 
     Ring, National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), 
     National Association of Home Builders, National Center for 
     Policy Analysis, National Roofing Contractors Association, 
     National Taxpayers Union--Key Vote, R Street, SBE Council, 
     Campaign For Liberty.
                                  ____

                                                  Small Business &


                                     Entrepreneurship Council,

                                      Vienna, VA, January 3, 2017.
     Hon. Doug Collins,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Collins: Serious regulatory reform is 
     needed to revitalize entrepreneurship, small business growth, 
     our economy, and quality job creation. Therefore, the Small 
     Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) strongly 
     supports the Regulations from the Executive In Need of 
     Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017.
       U.S. entrepreneurship and startup activity are in a frail 
     state. While economic uncertainty and difficulties accessing 
     capital present barriers to new business formation, excessive 
     government regulation drives uncertainty and creates new 
     obstacles. When the policy ecosystem becomes noxious for 
     startups and small businesses, our entire economy suffers. 
     For existing businesses, overregulation is driving costs 
     higher and undermining confidence, investment and growth. The 
     system is out-of-control, and common sense tools and 
     solutions are needed to rein in the explosive growth of 
     federal red tape.
       The REINS Act requires that Congress take an up-or-down 
     vote on every new major rule--defined as having an economic 
     impact of $100 million or more--before such a rule could be 
     enforced. This substantive regulatory reform measure would 
     serve as an important check on the regulatory system, and 
     have a positive effect in terms of how regulation affects 
     small businesses, and therefore, consumers, America's 
     workforce and the economy.
       The REINS Act will bring needed accountability to our 
     nation's regulatory system, and SBE Council thanks you for 
     your leadership in spearheading this important legislative 
     effort.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Karen Kerrigan,
     President and CEO.
                                  ____

                                                  National Roofing


                                      Contractors Association,

                                  Washington, DC, January 3, 2017.
     To All Members of the House of Representatives.
       Dear Representative, The National Roofing Contractors 
     Association (NRCA) strongly supports the Regulations from the 
     Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act and urges you to 
     support this legislation when it comes to the House floor for 
     a vote.
       Established in 1886, NRCA is one of the nation's oldest 
     trade associations and the voice of professional roofing 
     contractors worldwide. NRCA has about 3,500 contractors in 
     all 50 states who are typically small, privately held 
     companies with the average member employing 45 people and 
     attaining sales of about $4.5 million per year.
       The roofing industry has faced an avalanche of new 
     regulations from numerous government agencies in recent 
     years. The cumulative burden of often counterproductive 
     regulations is highly disruptive to entrepreneurs who seek to 
     start or grow businesses that provide high-quality jobs. Most 
     important, federal agencies have failed to work with industry 
     representatives to provide greater flexibility for employers 
     in achieving regulatory goals and minimizing adverse impacts 
     on economic growth and job creation.
       NRCA strongly supports regulatory reform to provide small 
     and midsized businesses with much-needed relief from 
     burdensome regulations, and the REINS Act is a key component 
     of regulatory relief. It would require Congress to approve, 
     with an up-or-down vote, any new major regulation issued by a 
     federal agency before the regulation would become effective. 
     Under the REINS Act, a major regulation is defined as any 
     rule that is estimated to have an economic impact of at least 
     $100 million on the private sector; would result in a major 
     increase in costs or prices; and would have significant 
     adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, 
     productivity or U.S. competitiveness.
       NRCA believes the REINS Act, by requiring major regulations 
     undergo a vote in Congress to become effective, would 
     substantially increase accountability among federal agencies 
     seeking to issue new regulations. This legislation would help 
     provide employers in the roofing industry with the certainty 
     they need to invest in their businesses and create more jobs.
       NRCA supports the REINS Act and urges you to vote for this 
     legislation in the House. If you have any questions or need 
     more information, please contact NRCA's Washington, D.C., 
     office.

                                                Dennis Conway,

                               Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas,
     NRCA Chairman of the Board.
                                  ____

                                               Associated Builders


                                        and Contractors, Inc.,

                                  Washington, DC, January 4, 2017.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of Associated Builders and 
     Contractors (ABC), a national construction industry trade 
     association with 70 chapters representing nearly 21,000 
     chapter members, I am writing in regard to the Regulations 
     from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 
     (H.R. 26) introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) as well as 
     the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 (H.R. 21) introduced by 
     Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
       From 2009 to present, the federal government imposed nearly 
     $900 billion in regulatory costs on the American people which 
     requires billions of hours of paperwork. Many of these 
     regulations have been or will be imposed on the construction 
     industry. ABC is committed to reforming the broken federal 
     regulatory process and ensuring industry stakeholders' voices 
     are heard and rights are protected. ABC supports increased 
     transparency and opportunities for regulatory oversight by 
     Congress and ultimately, the American people.
       The Obama administration issued numerous rulemakings that 
     detrimentally impact the construction industry. In some 
     cases, these regulations are based on conjecture and 
     speculation, lacking foundation in sound scientific analysis. 
     For the construction industry, unjustified and unnecessary 
     regulations translate to higher costs, which are then passed 
     along to the consumer or lead to construction projects being 
     priced out of the market. This chain reaction ultimately 
     results in fewer projects, and hinders businesses' ability to 
     hire and expand.
       ABC members understand the value of standards and 
     regulations when they are based on solid evidence, with 
     appropriate consideration paid to implementation costs and 
     input from the business community. Federal agencies must be 
     held accountable for full compliance with existing rulemaking 
     statutes and requirements when promulgating regulations to 
     ensure they are necessary, current and cost-effective for 
     businesses to implement.
       ABC opposes unnecessary, burdensome and costly regulations 
     resulting from the efforts of Washington bureaucrats who have 
     little accountability for their actions. H.R. 26 will help to 
     bring greater accountability to the rulemaking process as it 
     would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an 
     annual economic impact of $100 million or more to come before 
     Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted. 
     Moreover, H.R. 21 will further enhance congressional 
     oversight of the overreaching regulations often issued during 
     the final months of a president's term and help to revive the 
     division of powers.
       Thank you for your attention on this important matter and 
     we urge the House to pass the Regulations from the Executive 
     in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 and Midnight Rules 
     Relief Act of 2017 when they come to the floor for a vote.
           Sincerely,

                                           Kristen Swearingen,

                                     Vice President of Legislative
                                              & Political Affairs.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chair, H.R. 26, the ``Regulations from the Executive 
in Need of

[[Page H132]]

Scrutiny Act of 2017,'' otherwise known as the REINS Act, would amend 
the Congressional Review Act to require that both Houses of Congress 
pass and the President sign a joint resolution of approval within 70 
legislative days before any major rule issued by an agency can take 
effect.
  Simply put, H.R. 26 would impose unworkable deadlines for the 
enactment of a major rule under procedures that could charitably be 
referred to as convoluted.
  Under this bill, the House may only consider a resolution for a major 
rule on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Keep in mind that 
typically 80 major rules are promulgated annually. Yet, there may be as 
little as just 15 days available to consider such measures based on the 
majority's legislative calendar for the current year.
  Furthermore, Congress may only consider such resolutions within 70 
legislative days of receiving a major rule. This process would 
constructively end rulemaking as we know it.
  Now, Mr. Chair, the reason why my friends on the other side of the 
aisle say we need this kind of gumming-the-works legislation--is 
because they claim regulations stifle economic growth.
  For example, they point to the outgoing administration and say that 
regulations promulgated during its tenure have hurt our Nation's 
economy.
  What they fail to tell the American people is that it was the 
Republican George Bush's administration's economic policies that caused 
the Great Recession.
  Without question, it was the lack of regulatory controls that 
facilitated rampant predatory lending, which nearly destroyed our 
Nation's economy.
  It led to millions of home foreclosures and devastated neighborhoods 
across America. In fact, it nearly caused a global economic meltdown.
  Nevertheless, as a consequence of strong regulatory policies 
implemented by President Obama through such measures as the Dodd-Frank 
Act, our Nation has recovered to a point where the unemployment has 
been cut nearly in half to less than 5 percent.
  Yet, the REINS Act would reverse these gains by empowering Congress 
to control and override the rulemaking process, even in the absence of 
any substantive expertise.
  More than 80 of the Nation's leading professors on environmental and 
administrative law have warned in connection with substantively 
identical legislation considered in the last Congress, that without 
this expertise, any congressional disapproval is more likely to reflect 
the political power of special interests.
  Lastly, by upending the process for agency rulemaking so that 
Congress can simply void major rules through inaction, the REINS Act 
likely violates the presentment and bicameralism requirements of 
Article I of the Constitution.
  As a leading expert on administrative law states: ``The reality is 
that the act is intended to enable a single House of Congress to 
control the implementation of the laws through the rulemaking process. 
Such a scheme transgresses the very idea of separation of powers, under 
which the Constitution entrusts the writing of the laws to the 
legislative branch and the implementation of the laws to the executive 
branch.''
  The REINS Act will further encourage corporate giants to hold our 
country hostage through a deregulatory, profits-first agenda and 
facilitate a political influence process rivaling the destructive 
industrial monopolies from the past century.
  In sum, H.R. 26, like the ``Midnight Rules Relief Act'' we considered 
yesterday on the House floor, is yet another blatant gift to big 
business to weaken the critical regulatory protections that ensure the 
safety of the air we breathe, the cars we drive, the toys we give our 
children, and the food we eat.
  Accordingly, I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this ill-
conceived bill.
  The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 26

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Regulations from the 
     Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

       The purpose of this Act is to increase accountability for 
     and transparency in the Federal regulatory process. Section 1 
     of article I of the United States Constitution grants all 
     legislative powers to Congress. Over time, Congress has 
     excessively delegated its constitutional charge while failing 
     to conduct appropriate oversight and retain accountability 
     for the content of the laws it passes. By requiring a vote in 
     Congress, the REINS Act will result in more carefully drafted 
     and detailed legislation, an improved regulatory process, and 
     a legislative branch that is truly accountable to the 
     American people for the laws imposed upon them.

     SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW OF AGENCY RULEMAKING.

       Chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, is amended to 
     read as follows:

         ``CHAPTER 8--CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW OF AGENCY RULEMAKING

``Sec.
``801. Congressional review.
``802. Congressional approval procedure for major rules.
``803. Congressional disapproval procedure for nonmajor rules.
``804. Definitions.
``805. Judicial review.
``806. Exemption for monetary policy.
``807. Effective date of certain rules.

     ``Sec. 801. Congressional review

       ``(a)(1)(A) Before a rule may take effect, the Federal 
     agency promulgating such rule shall publish in the Federal 
     Register a list of information on which the rule is based, 
     including data, scientific and economic studies, and cost-
     benefit analyses, and identify how the public can access such 
     information online, and shall submit to each House of the 
     Congress and to the Comptroller General a report containing--
       ``(i) a copy of the rule;
       ``(ii) a concise general statement relating to the rule;
       ``(iii) a classification of the rule as a major or nonmajor 
     rule, including an explanation of the classification 
     specifically addressing each criteria for a major rule 
     contained within sections 804(2)(A), 804(2)(B), and 
     804(2)(C);
       ``(iv) a list of any other related regulatory actions 
     intended to implement the same statutory provision or 
     regulatory objective as well as the individual and aggregate 
     economic effects of those actions; and
       ``(v) the proposed effective date of the rule.
       ``(B) On the date of the submission of the report under 
     subparagraph (A), the Federal agency promulgating the rule 
     shall submit to the Comptroller General and make available to 
     each House of Congress--
       ``(i) a complete copy of the cost-benefit analysis of the 
     rule, if any, including an analysis of any jobs added or 
     lost, differentiating between public and private sector jobs;
       ``(ii) the agency's actions pursuant to sections 603, 604, 
     605, 607, and 609 of this title;
       ``(iii) the agency's actions pursuant to sections 202, 203, 
     204, and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995; and
       ``(iv) any other relevant information or requirements under 
     any other Act and any relevant Executive orders.
       ``(C) Upon receipt of a report submitted under subparagraph 
     (A), each House shall provide copies of the report to the 
     chairman and ranking member of each standing committee with 
     jurisdiction under the rules of the House of Representatives 
     or the Senate to report a bill to amend the provision of law 
     under which the rule is issued.
       ``(2)(A) The Comptroller General shall provide a report on 
     each major rule to the committees of jurisdiction by the end 
     of 15 calendar days after the submission or publication date. 
     The report of the Comptroller General shall include an 
     assessment of the agency's compliance with procedural steps 
     required by paragraph (1)(B) and an assessment of whether the 
     major rule imposes any new limits or mandates on private-
     sector activity.
       ``(B) Federal agencies shall cooperate with the Comptroller 
     General by providing information relevant to the Comptroller 
     General's report under subparagraph (A).
       ``(3) A major rule relating to a report submitted under 
     paragraph (1) shall take effect upon enactment of a joint 
     resolution of approval described in section 802 or as 
     provided for in the rule following enactment of a joint 
     resolution of approval described in section 802, whichever is 
     later.
       ``(4) A nonmajor rule shall take effect as provided by 
     section 803 after submission to Congress under paragraph (1).
       ``(5) If a joint resolution of approval relating to a major 
     rule is not enacted within the period provided in subsection 
     (b)(2), then a joint resolution of approval relating to the 
     same rule may not be considered under this chapter in the 
     same Congress by either the House of Representatives or the 
     Senate.
       ``(b)(1) A major rule shall not take effect unless the 
     Congress enacts a joint resolution of approval described 
     under section 802.
       ``(2) If a joint resolution described in subsection (a) is 
     not enacted into law by the end of 70 session days or 
     legislative days, as applicable, beginning on the date on 
     which the report referred to in section 801(a)(1)(A) is 
     received by Congress (excluding days either House of Congress 
     is adjourned for more than 3 days during a session of 
     Congress), then the rule described in that resolution shall 
     be deemed not to be approved and such rule shall not take 
     effect.
       ``(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this 
     section (except subject to paragraph (3)), a major rule may 
     take effect for one 90-calendar-day period if the President 
     makes a determination under paragraph (2) and submits written 
     notice of such determination to the Congress.
       ``(2) Paragraph (1) applies to a determination made by the 
     President by Executive order that the major rule should take 
     effect because such rule is--
       ``(A) necessary because of an imminent threat to health or 
     safety or other emergency;

[[Page H133]]

       ``(B) necessary for the enforcement of criminal laws;
       ``(C) necessary for national security; or
       ``(D) issued pursuant to any statute implementing an 
     international trade agreement.
       ``(3) An exercise by the President of the authority under 
     this subsection shall have no effect on the procedures under 
     section 802.
       ``(d)(1) In addition to the opportunity for review 
     otherwise provided under this chapter, in the case of any 
     rule for which a report was submitted in accordance with 
     subsection (a)(1)(A) during the period beginning on the date 
     occurring--
       ``(A) in the case of the Senate, 60 session days; or
       ``(B) in the case of the House of Representatives, 60 
     legislative days,

     before the date the Congress is scheduled to adjourn a 
     session of Congress through the date on which the same or 
     succeeding Congress first convenes its next session, sections 
     802 and 803 shall apply to such rule in the succeeding 
     session of Congress.
       ``(2)(A) In applying sections 802 and 803 for purposes of 
     such additional review, a rule described under paragraph (1) 
     shall be treated as though--
       ``(i) such rule were published in the Federal Register on--
       ``(I) in the case of the Senate, the 15th session day; or
       ``(II) in the case of the House of Representatives, the 
     15th legislative day,

     after the succeeding session of Congress first convenes; and
       ``(ii) a report on such rule were submitted to Congress 
     under subsection (a)(1) on such date.
       ``(B) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to 
     affect the requirement under subsection (a)(1) that a report 
     shall be submitted to Congress before a rule can take effect.
       ``(3) A rule described under paragraph (1) shall take 
     effect as otherwise provided by law (including other 
     subsections of this section).

     ``Sec. 802. Congressional approval procedure for major rules

       ``(a)(1) For purposes of this section, the term `joint 
     resolution' means only a joint resolution addressing a report 
     classifying a rule as major pursuant to section 
     801(a)(1)(A)(iii) that--
       ``(A) bears no preamble;
       ``(B) bears the following title (with blanks filled as 
     appropriate): `Approving the rule submitted by ___ relating 
     to ___.';
       ``(C) includes after its resolving clause only the 
     following (with blanks filled as appropriate): `That Congress 
     approves the rule submitted by ___ relating to ___.'; and
       ``(D) is introduced pursuant to paragraph (2).
       ``(2) After a House of Congress receives a report 
     classifying a rule as major pursuant to section 
     801(a)(1)(A)(iii), the majority leader of that House (or his 
     or her respective designee) shall introduce (by request, if 
     appropriate) a joint resolution described in paragraph (1)--
       ``(A) in the case of the House of Representatives, within 3 
     legislative days; and
       ``(B) in the case of the Senate, within 3 session days.
       ``(3) A joint resolution described in paragraph (1) shall 
     not be subject to amendment at any stage of proceeding.
       ``(b) A joint resolution described in subsection (a) shall 
     be referred in each House of Congress to the committees 
     having jurisdiction over the provision of law under which the 
     rule is issued.
       ``(c) In the Senate, if the committee or committees to 
     which a joint resolution described in subsection (a) has been 
     referred have not reported it at the end of 15 session days 
     after its introduction, such committee or committees shall be 
     automatically discharged from further consideration of the 
     resolution and it shall be placed on the calendar. A vote on 
     final passage of the resolution shall be taken on or before 
     the close of the 15th session day after the resolution is 
     reported by the committee or committees to which it was 
     referred, or after such committee or committees have been 
     discharged from further consideration of the resolution.
       ``(d)(1) In the Senate, when the committee or committees to 
     which a joint resolution is referred have reported, or when a 
     committee or committees are discharged (under subsection (c)) 
     from further consideration of a joint resolution described in 
     subsection (a), it is at any time thereafter in order (even 
     though a previous motion to the same effect has been 
     disagreed to) for a motion to proceed to the consideration of 
     the joint resolution, and all points of order against the 
     joint resolution (and against consideration of the joint 
     resolution) are waived. The motion is not subject to 
     amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or to a motion to 
     proceed to the consideration of other business. A motion to 
     reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or 
     disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to 
     the consideration of the joint resolution is agreed to, the 
     joint resolution shall remain the unfinished business of the 
     Senate until disposed of.
       ``(2) In the Senate, debate on the joint resolution, and on 
     all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, 
     shall be limited to not more than 2 hours, which shall be 
     divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the 
     joint resolution. A motion to further limit debate is in 
     order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to 
     postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of 
     other business, or a motion to recommit the joint resolution 
     is not in order.
       ``(3) In the Senate, immediately following the conclusion 
     of the debate on a joint resolution described in subsection 
     (a), and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate 
     if requested in accordance with the rules of the Senate, the 
     vote on final passage of the joint resolution shall occur.
       ``(4) Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to 
     the application of the rules of the Senate to the procedure 
     relating to a joint resolution described in subsection (a) 
     shall be decided without debate.
       ``(e) In the House of Representatives, if any committee to 
     which a joint resolution described in subsection (a) has been 
     referred has not reported it to the House at the end of 15 
     legislative days after its introduction, such committee shall 
     be discharged from further consideration of the joint 
     resolution, and it shall be placed on the appropriate 
     calendar. On the second and fourth Thursdays of each month it 
     shall be in order at any time for the Speaker to recognize a 
     Member who favors passage of a joint resolution that has 
     appeared on the calendar for at least 5 legislative days to 
     call up that joint resolution for immediate consideration in 
     the House without intervention of any point of order. When so 
     called up a joint resolution shall be considered as read and 
     shall be debatable for 1 hour equally divided and controlled 
     by the proponent and an opponent, and the previous question 
     shall be considered as ordered to its passage without 
     intervening motion. It shall not be in order to reconsider 
     the vote on passage. If a vote on final passage of the joint 
     resolution has not been taken by the third Thursday on which 
     the Speaker may recognize a Member under this subsection, 
     such vote shall be taken on that day.
       ``(f)(1) If, before passing a joint resolution described in 
     subsection (a), one House receives from the other a joint 
     resolution having the same text, then--
       ``(A) the joint resolution of the other House shall not be 
     referred to a committee; and
       ``(B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be the 
     same as if no joint resolution had been received from the 
     other House until the vote on passage, when the joint 
     resolution received from the other House shall supplant the 
     joint resolution of the receiving House.
       ``(2) This subsection shall not apply to the House of 
     Representatives if the joint resolution received from the 
     Senate is a revenue measure.
       ``(g) If either House has not taken a vote on final passage 
     of the joint resolution by the last day of the period 
     described in section 801(b)(2), then such vote shall be taken 
     on that day.
       ``(h) This section and section 803 are enacted by 
     Congress--
       ``(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate 
     and House of Representatives, respectively, and as such is 
     deemed to be part of the rules of each House, respectively, 
     but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be 
     followed in that House in the case of a joint resolution 
     described in subsection (a) and superseding other rules only 
     where explicitly so; and
       ``(2) with full recognition of the Constitutional right of 
     either House to change the rules (so far as they relate to 
     the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner 
     and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of 
     that House.

     ``Sec. 803. Congressional disapproval procedure for nonmajor 
       rules

       ``(a) For purposes of this section, the term `joint 
     resolution' means only a joint resolution introduced in the 
     period beginning on the date on which the report referred to 
     in section 801(a)(1)(A) is received by Congress and ending 60 
     days thereafter (excluding days either House of Congress is 
     adjourned for more than 3 days during a session of Congress), 
     the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: 
     `That Congress disapproves the nonmajor rule submitted by the 
     ___ relating to ___, and such rule shall have no force or 
     effect.' (The blank spaces being appropriately filled in).
       ``(b) A joint resolution described in subsection (a) shall 
     be referred to the committees in each House of Congress with 
     jurisdiction.
       ``(c) In the Senate, if the committee to which is referred 
     a joint resolution described in subsection (a) has not 
     reported such joint resolution (or an identical joint 
     resolution) at the end of 15 session days after the date of 
     introduction of the joint resolution, such committee may be 
     discharged from further consideration of such joint 
     resolution upon a petition supported in writing by 30 Members 
     of the Senate, and such joint resolution shall be placed on 
     the calendar.
       ``(d)(1) In the Senate, when the committee to which a joint 
     resolution is referred has reported, or when a committee is 
     discharged (under subsection (c)) from further consideration 
     of a joint resolution described in subsection (a), it is at 
     any time thereafter in order (even though a previous motion 
     to the same effect has been disagreed to) for a motion to 
     proceed to the consideration of the joint resolution, and all 
     points of order against the joint resolution (and against 
     consideration of the joint resolution) are waived. The motion 
     is not subject to amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or 
     to a motion to proceed to the consideration of other 
     business. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion 
     is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a 
     motion

[[Page H134]]

     to proceed to the consideration of the joint resolution is 
     agreed to, the joint resolution shall remain the unfinished 
     business of the Senate until disposed of.
       ``(2) In the Senate, debate on the joint resolution, and on 
     all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, 
     shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, which shall be 
     divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the 
     joint resolution. A motion to further limit debate is in 
     order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to 
     postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of 
     other business, or a motion to recommit the joint resolution 
     is not in order.
       ``(3) In the Senate, immediately following the conclusion 
     of the debate on a joint resolution described in subsection 
     (a), and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate 
     if requested in accordance with the rules of the Senate, the 
     vote on final passage of the joint resolution shall occur.
       ``(4) Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to 
     the application of the rules of the Senate to the procedure 
     relating to a joint resolution described in subsection (a) 
     shall be decided without debate.
       ``(e) In the Senate, the procedure specified in subsection 
     (c) or (d) shall not apply to the consideration of a joint 
     resolution respecting a nonmajor rule--
       ``(1) after the expiration of the 60 session days beginning 
     with the applicable submission or publication date; or
       ``(2) if the report under section 801(a)(1)(A) was 
     submitted during the period referred to in section 801(d)(1), 
     after the expiration of the 60 session days beginning on the 
     15th session day after the succeeding session of Congress 
     first convenes.
       ``(f) If, before the passage by one House of a joint 
     resolution of that House described in subsection (a), that 
     House receives from the other House a joint resolution 
     described in subsection (a), then the following procedures 
     shall apply:
       ``(1) The joint resolution of the other House shall not be 
     referred to a committee.
       ``(2) With respect to a joint resolution described in 
     subsection (a) of the House receiving the joint resolution--
       ``(A) the procedure in that House shall be the same as if 
     no joint resolution had been received from the other House; 
     but
       ``(B) the vote on final passage shall be on the joint 
     resolution of the other House.

     ``Sec. 804. Definitions

       ``For purposes of this chapter:
       ``(1) The term `Federal agency' means any agency as that 
     term is defined in section 551(1).
       ``(2) The term `major rule' means any rule, including an 
     interim final rule, that the Administrator of the Office of 
     Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of 
     Management and Budget finds has resulted in or is likely to 
     result in--
       ``(A) an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or 
     more;
       ``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, 
     individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
     agencies, or geographic regions; or
       ``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, 
     employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the 
     ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with 
     foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.
       ``(3) The term `nonmajor rule' means any rule that is not a 
     major rule.
       ``(4) The term `rule' has the meaning given such term in 
     section 551, except that such term does not include--
       ``(A) any rule of particular applicability, including a 
     rule that approves or prescribes for the future rates, wages, 
     prices, services, or allowances therefore, corporate or 
     financial structures, reorganizations, mergers, or 
     acquisitions thereof, or accounting practices or disclosures 
     bearing on any of the foregoing;
       ``(B) any rule relating to agency management or personnel; 
     or
       ``(C) any rule of agency organization, procedure, or 
     practice that does not substantially affect the rights or 
     obligations of non-agency parties.
       ``(5) The term `submission date or publication date', 
     except as otherwise provided in this chapter, means--
       ``(A) in the case of a major rule, the date on which the 
     Congress receives the report submitted under section 
     801(a)(1); and
       ``(B) in the case of a nonmajor rule, the later of--
       ``(i) the date on which the Congress receives the report 
     submitted under section 801(a)(1); and
       ``(ii) the date on which the nonmajor rule is published in 
     the Federal Register, if so published.

     ``Sec. 805. Judicial review

       ``(a) No determination, finding, action, or omission under 
     this chapter shall be subject to judicial review.
       ``(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a court may determine 
     whether a Federal agency has completed the necessary 
     requirements under this chapter for a rule to take effect.
       ``(c) The enactment of a joint resolution of approval under 
     section 802 shall not be interpreted to serve as a grant or 
     modification of statutory authority by Congress for the 
     promulgation of a rule, shall not extinguish or affect any 
     claim, whether substantive or procedural, against any alleged 
     defect in a rule, and shall not form part of the record 
     before the court in any judicial proceeding concerning a rule 
     except for purposes of determining whether or not the rule is 
     in effect.

     ``Sec. 806. Exemption for monetary policy

       ``Nothing in this chapter shall apply to rules that concern 
     monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of 
     Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open 
     Market Committee.

     ``Sec. 807. Effective date of certain rules

       ``Notwithstanding section 801--
       ``(1) any rule that establishes, modifies, opens, closes, 
     or conducts a regulatory program for a commercial, 
     recreational, or subsistence activity related to hunting, 
     fishing, or camping; or
       ``(2) any rule other than a major rule which an agency for 
     good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief 
     statement of reasons therefore in the rule issued) that 
     notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, 
     unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest,

     shall take effect at such time as the Federal agency 
     promulgating the rule determines.''.

     SEC. 4. BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF RULES SUBJECT TO SECTION 802 OF 
                   TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE.

       Section 257(b)(2) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency 
     Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new subparagraph:
       ``(E) Budgetary effects of rules subject to section 802 of 
     title 5, united states code.--Any rules subject to the 
     congressional approval procedure set forth in section 802 of 
     chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, affecting budget 
     authority, outlays, or receipts shall be assumed to be 
     effective unless it is not approved in accordance with such 
     section.''.

     SEC. 5. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE STUDY OF RULES.

       (a) In General.--The Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall conduct a study to determine, as of the date of 
     the enactment of this Act--
       (1) how many rules (as such term is defined in section 804 
     of title 5, United States Code) were in effect;
       (2) how many major rules (as such term is defined in 
     section 804 of title 5, United States Code) were in effect; 
     and
       (3) the total estimated economic cost imposed by all such 
     rules.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall submit a report to Congress that contains the 
     findings of the study conducted under subsection (a).

     SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

       Sections 3 and 4, and the amendments made by such sections, 
     shall take effect beginning on the date that is 1 year after 
     the date of enactment of this Act.

  The CHAIR. No amendment to the bill shall be in order except those 
printed in House Report 115-1. Each such amendment may be offered only 
in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the 
report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time 
specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the 
proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall 
not be subject to a demand for division of the question.


                Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Goodlatte

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in 
House Report 115-1.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Subparagraph (A) of section 804(2) of title 5, United 
     States Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 
     of the bill, is amended to read as follows:
       ``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or 
     more, adjusted annually for inflation;''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I offer this manager's amendment to assure that, just as the REINS 
Act strengthens Congress' check on rules that impose major new costs on 
the economy, it does not unduly delay the effectiveness of major new 
deregulatory actions, those that alleviate regulatory burdens of $100 
million or more.
  When first introduced in the 112th Congress, the REINS Act 
incorporated the definition of major rule in the underlying 
Congressional Review Act--generally, a rule that has ``an annual effect 
on the economy of $100,000,000 or more.''
  This was done in the interest of consistency with prior terminology, 
and it

[[Page H135]]

swept in both actions that imposed costs and actions that lifted costs. 
But, especially after the regulatory onslaught we have witnessed during 
the Obama administration, it is time to revise that definition.
  We should assure that the REINS Act focuses Congress' highest 
attention on the rules that hurt the economy the most: those that 
impose $100 million or more in costs per year. We should likewise make 
sure that the REINS Act does not impose additional hurdles in the way 
of the most important and desperately needed deregulatory actions: 
those that free the economy of $100 million or more in annual 
regulatory burdens. A deregulatory action with that level of economic 
effect is one that Congress should be encouraging, not slowing down.
  This refinement of the REINS Act's major rule definition is also 
needed to assure consistency with the major Administrative Procedure 
Act reform legislation the House is due to consider next week, the 
Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017. That measure already modernizes 
the major rule standard for APA purposes to $100 million or more in 
annual costs imposed on the economy. The REINS Act should mirror it.
  I urge my colleagues to support this manager's amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1545

  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, the Goodlatte amendment clarifies 
that a major rule is any rule with an annual cost on the economy of 
$100 million or more adjusted for inflation. This amendment revises the 
bill's definition for a major rule to include any rule with an annual 
cost of $100 million or more as determined by the Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs, also known as OIRA.
  I oppose this amendment because it focuses only on the cost of 
regulatory protections while completely overlooking the monetary 
benefits of these critical rules. It also strips OIRA's ability to 
consider the benefits of a rule in connection with a rule's cost. I 
don't understand the logic of that.
  In 2015, The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog criticized cost-only 
regulatory estimates as misleading, unbalanced, and having serious 
methodological problems. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, 
likewise observed in 2015 that ignoring the benefits of regulation is 
akin to grocery shoppers deciding to buy no groceries simply because 
groceries cost money. That doesn't make any sense to me.
  Even Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has 
stated that ``many of these rules we need, they're important for the 
economy, and we support them,'' conceding that the benefits of 
regulatory protections must be considered hand in hand with their 
costs.
  Indeed, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, the 
Office of Management and Budget regularly has reported to Congress that 
the benefits of regulations far exceed their costs. During the three 
hearings on the REINS Act in previous Congresses, we heard from three 
distinguished witnesses that the benefits of regulation routinely 
outweigh their costs, according to cost-benefit analysis done by the 
Office of Management and Budget under administrations of both parties.
  For example, in the 112th Congress, Sally Katzen, a former 
administrator of the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, testified that ``the numbers are striking: according to OMB, 
the benefits from the regulations issued during the ten-year period''--
from fiscal year 1999 through 2009--``ranged from $128 billion to $616 
billion.''
  I will repeat. Benefits from regulations ranged from $128 billion to 
$616 billion.
  ``Therefore, even if one uses OMB's highest estimate of costs and its 
lowest estimate of benefits, the regulations issued over the past ten 
years have produced net benefits of $73 billion to our society.''
  Those are the words of Sally Katzen. That 10-year timeframe 
encompasses the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.
  We also heard in the 112th Congress from David Goldston, a former 
Republican House committee chief of staff, who testified that 
``administrations under both parties have reviewed the aggregate impact 
of regulations and found their benefits to have exceeded their costs 
(and not all benefits are quantifiable).''
  Their testimony is bolstered by the Office of Management and Budget's 
2016 Draft Report to Congress, which notes that estimated annual 
benefits of major Federal regulations reviewed by OMB over the past 
decade estimated annual benefits of regulatory protections are between 
$269 billion and $872 billion, while regulatory costs are between $74 
billion and $110 billion.
  Mr. Chair, I oppose this amendment, once again, because it focuses 
only on the cost of regulatory protections while completely overlooking 
the monetary benefits of these critical rules, and for that reason I 
oppose my colleague's amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time 
only to urge my colleagues to support this important amendment and not 
lose the opportunity to benefit from deregulatory reforms that will 
grow our economy and save America's economy hundreds of millions of 
dollars. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Messer

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in 
House Report 115-1.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Section 801(a)(1)(A) of title 5, United States Code, as 
     proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, is amended 
     by inserting after ``the Federal agency promulgating such 
     rule'' the following: ``shall satisfy the requirements of 
     section 808 and''.
       Chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, as proposed to be 
     amended by section 3 of the bill, is amended by adding at the 
     end the following (and amending the table of sections 
     accordingly):

     ``Sec. 808. Regulatory cut-go requirement

       ``In making any new rule, the agency making the rule shall 
     identify a rule or rules that may be amended or repealed to 
     completely offset any annual costs of the new rule to the 
     United States economy. Before the new rule may take effect, 
     the agency shall make each such repeal or amendment. In 
     making such an amendment or repeal, the agency shall comply 
     with the requirements of subchapter II of chapter 5, but the 
     agency may consolidate proceedings under subchapter with 
     proceedings on the new rule.''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Indiana (Mr. Messer) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Indiana.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman from Virginia for his 
help on this amendment as well. It is an amendment designed to take an 
already very good bill and make it just a little better.
  A good friend of mine, former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, used to 
say ``you'd be amazed how much government you'll never miss'' when 
talking about reducing the size of government bureaucracy.
  So much of government's excess is created by unelected officials who 
wield enormous influence over our everyday lives. Last year, Federal 
agencies issued 18 rules and regulations for every one law that passed 
Congress. That is a grand total of 3,853 regulations in 2016 alone. In 
2015, Federal regulations cost the American economy nearly $1.9 
trillion--T, trillion dollars--in lost growth and productivity.
  Think about that for a second. A $1.9 trillion tax, a government 
burden on the American people. That means lost jobs, stagnant wages, 
and decreasing benefits for workers.
  My amendment looks to help change all that. Very simply, my amendment 
requires every agency issuing a new rule to first identify, then repeal 
or amend at least one existing rule to offset any annual costs the new 
rule would have on the U.S. economy. This isn't some new radical idea. 
President-

[[Page H136]]

elect Trump announced his administration will implement a new practice 
that for every new regulation, two would have to be repealed.
  Governments in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the 
Netherlands have all implemented similar versions of one-in/one-out 
when addressing new rules and regulations. In fact, in Canada, 
bureaucrats used the new direction to find and cut more red tape than 
was even required by the law. My amendment gives the new administration 
that same flexibility.
  Mr. Chair, it is past time we stop bureaucratic abuse and shift the 
balance of power from government back to the people, where it belongs. 
That can start today by passing the REINS Act and putting our 
government on a path to reduce the amount of red tape that our 
businesses and the American people deal with every day.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment 
and the underlying bill.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to this 
amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I oppose the gentleman's 
amendment, which would require that agencies offset the cost of new 
rules, no matter how critical or mundane these protections may be, 
prior to promulgating new rules. This proposal, also referred to as 
``regulatory cut-go,'' appears as title 2 of H.R. 1155, the Searching 
for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act, or 
the SCRUB Act, that was introduced in the previous Congress.
  In the context of a veto threat of that bill, the Obama 
administration cautioned that this requirement would make the process 
of retrospective regulatory review less productive and, in the process, 
create needless regulatory and legal uncertainty, and that it would 
increase costs for businesses and for States, local and tribal 
governments, and it would also impede commonsense protections for the 
American public.
  By enacting Federal statutes, tasking agencies with responsibilities, 
Congress authorizes agencies to carry out matters that are too complex, 
routine, or technical for Congress itself to administrate. We must 
ensure that agencies have the proper flexibility to issue new 
protections without encumbering other regulations with political 
obstructions. I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte), my good friend and the chairman of the House 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman from Indiana for 
offering this amendment, and I rise in support of it.
  The cumulative burden of Federal regulation will surely be reduced by 
the REINS Act, but that burden has two elements: the burden being added 
by new regulations and the burden already there.
  This amendment adds a useful provision to the REINS Act to address 
the elimination of unnecessary burdens already in the Code of Federal 
Regulations. It does so, moreover, in a manner that parallels 
President-elect Trump's promise to pursue a policy of one-in/two-out 
when it comes to new regulatory actions by his administration.
  Mr. Chair, I support the amendment.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I think it is long past time to stop the 
runaway train of the Federal regulatory bureaucracy. I urge support for 
the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Messer).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Indiana will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Grijalva

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in 
House Report 115-1.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       In section 801(a)(1)(A)(iv), title 5, United States Code, 
     as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, strike 
     ``and'' at the end.
       In section 801(a)(1)(A)(v), title 5, United States Code, as 
     proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, strike the 
     period at the end and insert a semicolon.
       Insert after section 801(a)(1)(A)(v), title 5, United 
     States Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the 
     bill, the following:
       (vi) recognizing that climate change is real and caused by 
     human activity, an accounting of the greenhouse gas emission 
     impacts associated with the rule; and
       (vii) an analysis of the impacts of the rule on low-income 
     communities and on rural communities.
       In section 804(2)(B), title 5, United States Code, as 
     proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, strike 
     ``and'' at the end.
       In section 804(2)(C), title 5, United States Code, as 
     proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, strike the 
     period at the end and insert a semicolon.
       Insert after section 804(2)(C), title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, the 
     following:
       ``(D) an increase of 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide 
     equivalent emissions per year or more; or
       ``(E) a potential increased risk to low income or rural 
     communities for--
       ``(i) cancer;
       ``(ii) birth defects;
       ``(iii) kidney disease;
       ``(iv) respiratory illness; or
       ``(v) cardiovascular illness.''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Grijalva) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, for years my Republican friends have been 
trying to convince everyone that Federal agencies are scary and 
unpopular. In reality, Americans support Federal rules that protect 
them from injuries, diseases, and death. They always have and they 
always will. The people we represent don't want those rules to go away. 
They want stronger rules to protect their jobs, their pay, their 
health, and their fair treatment in the workplace.
  Let's remember that it takes years to finalize most rules. Before an 
agency makes a rule, it considers science, costs, benefits, public 
stakeholder input, and public comments. Republicans have invented 
stories about surprise regulations that appear out of nowhere. These 
stories sound interesting until you realize they were invented to help 
their corporate friends get where they want. We know where this will 
lead us. Big banks got away with robbing us and creating a major 
recession because they weren't regulated strongly enough. Republicans 
think the answer is making it harder to regulate them.
  If this bill passes, it won't be the nameless, faceless, unelected 
corporate CEOs who feel the pain. It will be the Americans from big 
cities and small towns who need Federal standards to keep their 
environment clean, to keep their workplace safe, and to make sure the 
products they buy won't hurt their families.
  My Democratic colleagues are offering amendments today that exempt 
certain kinds of rules from the unrealistic burdens this bill creates. 
I support these amendments.
  My amendment is a little different. It is not nearly enough to save 
this terrible bill, but it takes a big step in the right direction. It 
acknowledges that doing nothing carries a major cost.

                              {time}  1600

  It acknowledges human-caused climate change and requires agencies 
that propose regulations to report on how a rule impacts greenhouse gas 
emissions. If we require reporting a rule's costs, we should also 
report its impacts to our planet and to our way of life.
  It also requires an analysis of a rule's impacts on low-income and 
rural communities. My Republican friends are deeply concerned about 
whether new regulations make big business and Wall Street investors 
happy. I think it is time we assess the impacts of regulations on the 
urban poor, the rural poor, or on coastal Native American tribes 
already fleeing the impacts of climate change, or the farmers in the 
West and South struggling to cope with drought, flooding, and extreme 
weather.

[[Page H137]]

  Finally, my amendment requires congressional approval of any 
regulation that would increase carbon pollution by 25,000 metric tons 
or more, or could increase cancer, birth defects, kidney disease, or 
cardiovascular or respiratory illness.
  If House Republicans are so eager to rewrite the regulatory process, 
they should be willing to cast recorded votes allowing the release of 
tens of thousands of metric tons of pollution into our air. They should 
publicly vote to increase the rates of these terrible diseases among 
their constituents.
  Passing this amendment is the very least we can do to make sure the 
bill doesn't put Americans at risk of injury and death.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote on the amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to this 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Byrne). The gentleman from Pennsylvania is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, this amendment renders congressional 
findings on climate change and requires that agencies report to 
Congress on greenhouse gas impacts associated with a rule. It also 
requires agencies to report on a rule's effect on low-income and rural 
communities.
  Further, the amendment expands the definition of major rule to 
include rules that allow increases of carbon emissions by more than 
25,000 metric tons per year or that might increase the risk of certain 
diseases in rural or low-income communities.
  I oppose this amendment.
  The REINS Act is not designed to address one or two subjects of 
regulation with heightened scrutiny but not others. It is to restore 
accountability to the people's elected representatives in Congress for 
the largest regulatory decisions, whatever subject is involved.
  Further, and consistent with that, the addition of congressional 
findings in one policy area--climate change--but no other, has no place 
in the REINS Act.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, it should be noted that the REINS Act is 
one sweeping piece of legislation that does not take into account 
public health, does not take into account clean air, clean water, and 
the effects of constituents and the American people, the environment, 
or the cost attended with increased illnesses. With that sweeping 
deregulation process that is being proposed by the majority, we have an 
exposure on issues of public health, clean air, clean water, and the 
regulations that are in place to protect the public health and the 
well-being of the American people.
  My amendment just requires that, if these sweeping changes are to 
occur, Members of this body take the votes that would release 
additional metric tons into the atmosphere that would promote and 
increase the levels of disease in this country that is harmful to the 
American people. It is one of disclosure and accountability if the 
Members, indeed, are the ones that want to make the final decision.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Grijalva).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona will 
be postponed.


            Amendment No. 4 Offered by Ms. Castor of Florida

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:
       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other than 
     a special rule)''.
       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert before the period at the end the following: ``, and 
     includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, the 
     following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule that will 
     result in reduced incidence of cancer, premature mortality, 
     asthma attacks, or respiratory disease in children.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentlewoman 
from Florida (Ms. Castor) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Chairman, my amendment makes an important 
exemption to the REINS Act to ensure that policies that protect 
children from cancer, premature death, asthma attacks, or respiratory 
disease are not delayed or denied.
  For example, the Clean Air Act, which has been in place for over 40 
years, and has improved our health and protected all Americans from 
harmful toxic air pollution, such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur 
dioxide, and particle pollution, often requires updates based upon the 
best science, especially when it comes to our kids.
  Toxic pollutants, such as ozone, which is a major component of smog, 
are linked to asthma, lung, and heart disease and result in thousands 
of deaths every year and up to 1 million missed days of school. Our 
kids are particularly susceptible to this type of pollution because 
their lungs are still developing. On average, they take deeper breaths 
and are more likely to spend long periods outdoors, placing them at 
higher risk.
  The American Lung Association states that inhaling smog pollution is 
like getting a sunburn on your lungs, and often results in immediate 
breathing trouble.
  I remember very well back in the early seventies, when I was a little 
girl, what the air was like in my hometown in Tampa. We had a lot of 
industrial users at the port of Tampa, a lot of industrial plants. I 
have seen the progress over time that the Clean Air Act has brought to 
this country. We are not like other countries in the world. We are 
stronger, and we are better, and we are healthier because of the Clean 
Air Act.
  So let's not go backwards. Let's not throw a roadblock like the REINS 
Act into the mix here. But we do have to be careful because there still 
are many communities in America that continue to suffer, and they are 
often the underserved, economically distressed communities.
  Studies have shown that working class communities often bear the 
brunt of environmental pollution because the only homes they can afford 
are often located near industrial sites. According to the NAACP, 78 
percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of an industrial 
power plant, and 71 percent of African Americans live in counties that 
violate Federal air pollution standards.
  In addition to that, a study by the Environmental Defense Fund found 
that our Latino neighbors are three times more likely to die from 
asthma, often for those same reasons.
  Let's not go backwards. Because here, what the REINS Act does is it 
really complicates the American system of checks and balances. Let's 
not go backwards. Because it is not only our families and neighbors 
that would suffer. It is also our economy that would suffer as well.
  This type of regulatory scheme of mirrors and false promises would 
create great uncertainty for many of our businesses. The Clean Air Act 
is one example. These clean air protections in the United States have a 
great track record. We have grown as a country. The economic growth has 
tripled. Our economic base has more than tripled. Clean air protections 
and environmental protections go hand-in-hand with economic growth.
  Since 1970, we have cut harmful air pollution by 70 percent, while 
our economy has grown like gang busters. I know many of you are 
probably going to have your eyes on the Tampa Bay area Monday night 
when we have the college football championship in Tampa with Alabama 
versus Clemson. I

[[Page H138]]

want you to take a look at our clean skies, the clean air. I wish we 
could all be there, but I think we are going to be back here in 
Washington, D.C. But just know, it hasn't always been that way. When 
you see the beautiful sunset across Tampa Bay with clear skies, that 
has been because of the Clean Air Act.
  But if you bring a regulatory scheme, like the REINS Act, that says 
you have to come back to Congress for every single little new policy 
that is based on updates and new science, that is going to complicate 
everyone's lives. I worry at the outset of this new Congress, because 
the first bill passed yesterday was one that short-circuited public 
participation, and now this bill today appears to be a late Christmas 
gift to corporate polluters who put profits over people. We are better 
than that. You can prove me wrong, though, by supporting this 
amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, this amendment exempts from the bill any 
rule reducing the incidence of cancer, premature mortality, asthma 
attacks, and respiratory diseases in children. But do not be fooled. 
This amendment is not about reducing these maladies. It is about 
transferring the power to decide how best to do so from elected 
representatives to unaccountable bureaucrats.
  For example, government could substantially reduce teenage mortality 
by barring teenage drivers off the road. Of course, there would be a 
substantial cost to that policy, and there are surely less burdensome 
ways to achieve the same reductions in mortality. The right decision 
requires a delicate balancing of interest. Agencies can provide 
valuable expertise, but, when there is a lot at stake, the ultimate 
decision on how best to strike that balance is properly made by elected 
officials accountable to the people.
  That is the intuition behind the REINS Act and the fundamental point 
that is lost on those who oppose it.
  Reducing the incidence of mortality and serious disease is a goal 
that all Members share. This bill does not frustrate that goal. It 
merely ensures that elected representatives decide how best to achieve 
that policy so that our Republic remains a government by the people as 
the Constitution designed.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Chairman, of course, this legislative body 
has all the power to go back to policymaking after an administrative 
agency makes a determination, but we are not micromanagers. We are 
legislators. And I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the Castor 
amendment to protect children's health.
  If you won't create an exception for children's health, I wonder, you 
are not willing to really recognize the fundamental constitutional 
basis of this government. It is one that relies on checks and balances 
as the basis of our government.
  I urge my colleagues then to also support the Castor amendment but 
oppose the REINS Act in the end.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Castor).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Florida 
will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 5 Offered by Mr. Cicilline

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other 
     than a special rule)''.
       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, insert before the period at the end the following: ``, 
     and includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, the following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule relating to 
     the protection of the public health or safety.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Rhode Island.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, my amendment to H.R. 26 would exempt 
rules concerning public health or safety from the burdensome 
requirements of this legislation.
  Simply put, when a rule is necessary to protect the health and safety 
of the public, it is critical that the rule be put into effect without 
unnecessary delay.
  If this legislation is enacted without this amendment, it will create 
an untenable regulatory environment that will make it nearly impossible 
for agencies to safeguard the public welfare.
  This legislation could bring to a grinding halt critical rulemaking 
such as rules relating to the transportation of hazardous materials by 
the Department of Transportation, clean air regulations by the EPA, and 
worker-protection standards by OSHA.
  For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
implemented an economically significant rule that, by May 2018, all new 
vehicles must have rearview cameras. This regulation will help drivers 
have better visibility behind their car, greatly reducing the 
likelihood of backover crashes which largely involves small children.
  But under the REINS Act, this rule would require a joint 
congressional resolution with an unrealistic timeline for 
implementation. For every year this rule would be delayed, the Traffic 
Safety Administration estimates that there would be, on average, 15,000 
injuries and 267 fatalities resulting from backover crashes.
  Proponents of this legislation may argue that H.R. 26 contains an 
emergency exemption which allows a major rule to temporarily take 
effect following an executive order stating that there is an imminent 
threat to public health and safety. Even when the threat is not 
imminent, the danger to the public health and welfare may be great and 
the fundamental responsibility to protect the public remains.

                              {time}  1615

  This legislation would substantially hinder the ability of agencies 
to fulfill this obligation, placing Americans at greater risk for the 
benefit of powerful corporate interests. In its present form, the 
Coalition for Sensible Safeguards and the alliance of more than 150 
consumer, labor, faith, and other public interest groups predict that, 
by allowing Congress to even veto uncontroversial rules that protect 
public health and safety, the REINS Act ``would make the dysfunction 
and obstructionism that plague our political process even worse.''
  In echoing this sentiment, the American Sustainable Business Council, 
which represents over 200,000 businesses, opposes H.R. 26 because it 
would recklessly place the burden of proof on the taxpayers in order to 
protect themselves on environmental, health, and safety issues and 
would shift responsibility away from powerful corporate interests.
  While my amendment will not cure all that ails this legislation--and 
there is a lot--it will address one of its most glaring flaws and 
preserve the ability of agencies to protect public health and safety. I 
urge my colleagues to support my amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, this amendment exempts from the bill any 
rule pertaining to health or public safety.

[[Page H139]]

  Health and public safety regulations done properly serve important 
goals, and the bill does nothing to frustrate the effective achievement 
of those goals; but Federal health and public safety regulations 
constitute an immense part of total Federal regulation and have been 
the source of many of the most abusive, unnecessarily expensive, and 
job- and wage-destroying regulations. To remove these areas of 
regulation from the bill would severely weaken the bill's important 
reforms to lower cumulative regulatory costs and increase the 
accountability of our regulatory system and the Congress to the people, 
so I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman just made an assertion 
that, in fact, nothing in this legislation does anything to frustrate 
the goals of protecting health and safety; but, of course, it does. It 
prevents the implementation of rules which, in fact, protect public 
health and safety.
  If my amendment were to pass, that statement would be true--it would 
do nothing to frustrate it--but without this amendment, it prevents the 
implementation of a rule that would, in fact, protect public health and 
safety. It is a reasonable exemption that will ensure that we protect 
the well-being and the health of our constituents. I urge all of my 
colleagues to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Rhode Island 
will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 6 Offered by Mr. Conyers

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:
       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other than 
     a special rule)''.
       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert before the period at the end the following: ``, and 
     includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, the 
     following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule that would 
     provide for a reduction in the amount of lead in public 
     drinking water.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Conyers) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would exempt from H.R. 26, 
the REINS Act, rules issued to reduce the amount of lead in public 
drinking water.
  The ingestion of lead, of course, causes serious harmful effects on 
human health, even at low exposure levels. That is why the 
Environmental Protection Agency has set the maximum contaminant level 
for this toxic metal in drinking water at zero.
  According to the EPA, young children, infants, and fetuses are 
particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral 
effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in 
adults. The Agency reports that, in children, low levels of exposure 
have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous 
systems, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and 
the impaired formation and function of blood cells.
  Take, for example, the Flint water crisis, which I have a little 
experience with, which was a preventable public health disaster. While 
much blame for the Flint water crisis lies with unelected officials who 
prioritize saving money over saving lives, the presence of lead in 
drinking water is, unfortunately, not unique to Flint. In fact, the 
drinking water of, potentially, millions of Americans may be 
contaminated by lead.
  My amendment highlights one of the most problematic aspects of H.R. 
26: that it could slow down or completely block urgent rulemakings that 
protect health and safety. This is because Members simply lack the 
requisite scientific or technical knowledge to independently assess the 
bona fides of most regulations, which are often the product of 
extensive research and analysis by agencies as well as input from 
effective entities and the public.
  As a result, Members would have to make their own determinations 
based on their own--usually inexpert--views and limited information. 
Worse yet, some may be persuaded to disapprove of a rule in response to 
a wide-ranging influence exerted by outside special interests that 
favor profits over safety.
  My amendment simply preserves current law with respect to regulations 
that are designed to prevent the contamination of drinking water by 
lead. Accordingly, I sincerely urge my colleagues to support this 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, the amendment seeks to carve out from the 
REINS Act's reforms regulations that would reduce the amount of lead in 
public drinking water.
  But, like other amendments, this amendment is not so much about 
achieving a particular health or safety result. It is about taking the 
decision on how best to do that away from elected Representatives and 
handing it down to unaccountable bureaucrats. Agencies can provide 
valuable expertise, but when there is a lot at stake, the ultimate 
decision on how best to strike that balance is properly made by elected 
officials who are accountable to the people. This is the intuition 
behind the REINS Act, and the fundamental point is lost on its 
opponents.
  Preventing dangerous levels of lead in our drinking water is a goal 
all Members share. This bill does not frustrate that goal. It merely 
ensures that elected Representatives decide how best to achieve that 
policy so that our Republic remains a government by the people, as the 
Constitution designed.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to reclaim my 
time.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson), a member of the 
Judiciary Committee.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the gentleman's amendment.
  Protecting the health and safety of our citizens is one of the core 
responsibilities of our government and Congress, and we trust much of 
its authority to Federal agencies to implement this obligation. This 
amendment simply preserves current law with respect to regulations that 
are designed to prevent the contamination of drinking water by lead.
  As the Obama administration has observed, in the context of a veto 
threat to a substantively identical version of this bill in the last 
Congress, the REINS Act would delay and, in most cases, thwart the 
implementation of statutory mandates and the execution of duly enacted 
laws, create business uncertainty, undermine much-needed protections of 
the American public, and cause unnecessary confusion. Unfortunately, as 
I noted in my opening statement, the REINS Act would delay and, worse 
yet, possibly stop major rules from going into effect that are needed 
to protect the public's health, safety, and well-being, including those 
that require us to keep lead from drinking water.
  Safety regulations are typically the product of a transparent and 
accountable process that includes extensive investigation, analysis, 
and input from

[[Page H140]]

the public and private sectors. It is no answer to say that H.R. 26 
contains a limited emergency exception. That provision is insufficient. 
It merely allows a major rule to temporarily take effect for 90 days 
without its having congressional approval.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. CONYERS. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, just to reiterate what our position is, it 
is about time that we in D.C.--in Congress--take our responsibility 
back from unelected bureaucrats and make these decisions. We have seen, 
over the past 8 years, what overburdensome regulation has done to this 
country as far as crushing jobs.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan 
will be postponed.


           Amendment No. 7 Offered by Mr. Johnson of Georgia

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 7 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise as the designee of the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) to present her amendment in 
her absence.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other 
     than a special rule)''.
       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, insert before the period at the end the following: ``, 
     and includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, the following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule that pertains 
     to the safety of any products specifically designed to be 
     used or consumed by a child under the age of 2 years 
     (including cribs, car seats, and infant formula).''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Johnson) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, the Jackson Lee amendment 
exempts from this bill's onerous requirements the congressional 
approval requirement of any proposed rule that is made to ensure the 
safety of products that are used or consumed by children under the age 
of 2.
  This amendment should pass for obvious reasons. If protecting public 
health and safety means anything, it surely must include the protection 
of our children. Because of the special vulnerability of young 
children, any regulation affecting their health and safety must not be 
delayed. Unfortunately, if this bill passes as written without this 
amendment, that is exactly what will happen. The young children will be 
vulnerable to products that are unsafe and that could hurt them. For 
this reason, Sheila Jackson Lee has offered this amendment, which I 
support.
  An example is a regulation that is meant to protect a child from 
death or injury from contaminated formula. Such a rule would be 
impeded--or the promulgation of such a rule and the enactment of that 
rule would be impeded--by this administration.
  This amendment would declare that, in that case, the rule would not 
apply. It would be exempted from this legislation. Toxic chemicals, 
dangerous toys, or deadly falls from unsafe products could be avoided. 
Therefore, this amendment would protect children under those 
circumstances. Those kinds of rules need to be implemented promptly to 
save lives.
  For that reason, the Jackson Lee amendment deserves your support. I 
hope that you can support it out of your heart.
  I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1630

  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chair, the amendment seeks to carve out from the 
REINS Act's reforms regulations intended to protect young children and 
infants from harm.
  Child safety is a goal all Members share, but to shield bureaucrats 
who write child safety regulations from accountability to Congress is 
no way to guarantee a child's safety. The only thing that would 
guarantee is less careful decisionmaking and more insulation of 
faceless bureaucrats from the public.
  The Constitution entrusts to Congress the authority to protect 
children--and all citizens--from harmful products flowing in interstate 
commerce. The public should be able to trust Congress--and we should 
trust ourselves--to make sure that Washington bureaucrats make the 
right decisions to protect child safety when we delegate legislative 
authority to regulatory agencies.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, the faceless, nameless, deadly 
bureaucrats out here who mean the public harm, those are our relatives. 
Those are our mothers, our fathers, who work for the Federal 
Government. They are the civil servants that serve us. They are not 
nameless and faceless people of bad will and bad intent. They are good 
people who go to work every day and try to protect us and protect our 
children.
  All we are asking for with this amendment is for there to be a carve-
out to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children.
  This legislation is based on the faulty premise that the cost of 
regulations outweigh the benefits. What is the cost of a benefit when 
it comes to the health, safety, and well-being of a child?
  The people who promulgate these rules mean to protect these children, 
and this amendment goes to that ability of the regulators to do that. 
Sometimes regulation is good.
  Even though a couple of jobs might go away because of the regulation, 
isn't it worth the health, safety, and well-being of our children that 
a couple of jobs could not reach fruition? Everything is not a cost-
benefit analysis. Sometimes there is some humanity in the mix that we 
have to consider.
  I urge my colleagues to think about it one more time and be in favor 
of the very reasonable Jackson Lee amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, the REINS Act doesn't prevent the 
bureaucracy, the agencies, from making recommendations and suggestions 
to Congress. It simply says Congress will have the last word and not a 
handful of bureaucrats, and many of them don't even have experience in 
these areas.
  I urge my colleagues to not support this amendment but to support the 
REINS Act.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia will 
be postponed.


           Amendment No. 8 Offered by Mr. Johnson of Georgia

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I offer an amendment to H.R. 26.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other than 
     a special rule)''.

[[Page H141]]

       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert before the period at the end the following: ``, and 
     includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, the 
     following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule that pertains 
     to improving employment, retention, and earnings of workforce 
     participants, especially those participants with significant 
     barriers to employment.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Johnson) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of my amendment 
to H.R. 26, which would exempt from the bill rules that improve the 
employment retention and wages of workforce participants, especially 
those with significant barriers to employment. Since one of the 
justifications, or the main justification, for this underlying 
legislation is to promote job growth from corporate titans at the 
expense, by the way, of health and safety of Americans, at least, we 
could exempt from the bill rules that improve the employment, 
retention, and wages of workforce participants, especially those with 
significant barriers to employment.
  When President Obama took office in 2009, he inherited the worst 
economic crisis since the Great Depression. This economic quagmire was 
created by misguided Republican policies that put profits ahead of 
people, resulting in reckless decisions on Wall Street that cost 
millions of Americans their homes and jobs. In other words, the Great 
Recession was caused by the collapse of the financial markets due to an 
unreliability and instability of the predatory lending market, which 
had taken hold. There was so much paper out there on Wall Street that 
was worthless because it was based on these homes that people couldn't 
pay the notes for, and all of that was caused by deregulation, lack of 
regulation.
  Now we have a period with Dodd-Frank coming into play and the 
financial markets improving, the protection and economic security of 
American families increasing, being strengthened.
  Now, at the beginning of this Congress, we get legislation to gut the 
Dodd-Frank regulation and other regulations that would protect people 
from excesses of the corporate community. I am just asking, in this 
amendment, that we don't let it apply in the case of situations where 
the bill improves employment retention or wages or workforce 
participants, especially those with barriers to employment.
  So, according to leading economic indicators, private-sector 
businesses have created more than 15.6 million new jobs. The 
unemployment rate has dropped to well below 5 percent to the lowest 
point in nearly a decade, and incomes are rising faster, while the 
poverty rate has dropped to the lowest point since 1968. This has all 
occurred during an administration that is proenvironment, proclean 
energy, and proworkplace safety.
  In fact, during this time, our Nation has doubled our production of 
clean energy and reduced our carbon emissions faster than any other 
advanced nation. And the price of gas is down to roughly $2 a barrel, 
despite all of these cumbersome and oppressive regulations by the Obama 
administration that the other side complains about.
  Notwithstanding this progress that has been made, there is still much 
work to be done for the millions of Americans who remain out of work, 
underemployed, or have not seen significant wage growth postrecession.
  Congress should be working tirelessly across party lines to find 
solutions to persistent unemployment and stagnant wages, such as a 
public investment agenda that will increase productivity and domestic 
output while turning the page on our historic underinvestment in our 
Nation's roads, bridges, and educational institutions.
  Unfortunately, Mr. Chair, this bill, the REINS Act, is not a jobs 
bill. It is a legislative hacksaw to the critical public health and 
safety protections that ensure our Nation's air is clean, our water is 
pure, and our workplace vehicles, homes, and consumer products are 
safe.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chair, the amendment carves out of the REINS Act's 
congressional approval procedures regulations that attempt to improve 
employment, retention, and earnings, particularly for those with 
significant barriers to employment.
  The danger in the amendment is the strong incentive it gives agencies 
to manipulate their analysis of a major regulation's jobs and wages 
impacts. Far too often, agencies will be tempted to shade the analysis 
to skirt the bill's congressional approval requirement.
  In addition, regulations alleged to create new job prospects often do 
so by destroying real, existing jobs and creating new, hoped-for jobs 
associated with regulatory compliance. For example, the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Act rules have shut down existing 
power plants all over the country, throwing myriads of workers out of 
work. EPA and OMB attempt to justify that with claims that more new 
green jobs have been created as a result.
  In the end, this is just another way in which government picks the 
jobs winners and the jobs losers, and there is no guarantee that all of 
the new green jobs will ever actually exist.
  The REINS Act is not intended to force any particular outcome. It 
does not choose between clean air and dirty air. It does not choose 
between new jobs and old jobs.
  Instead, the REINS Act chooses between two ways of making laws. It 
chooses the way the Framers intended in which accountability for laws 
with major economic impact rests with Congress. It rejects the way 
Washington has operated for too long in which there is no 
accountability because decisions are made by unelected agency 
officials.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson).
  The amendment was rejected.


                 Amendment No. 9 Offered by Mr. Nadler

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 9 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other 
     than a special rule)''.
       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, insert before the period at the end the following: ``, 
     and includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended to read by section 3 of the 
     bill, the following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule pertaining to 
     nuclear reactor safety standards.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would exempt from the bill any 
regulations that pertain to nuclear reactor safety. In other words, my 
amendment would allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the NRC to 
continue to issue rules under the current system, thereby making it 
easier to protect Americans from potential nuclear disaster.
  The underlying legislation, the REINS Act, would grind the gears of 
rulemaking to a halt by requiring all major rules to be affirmatively 
approved in advance by Congress. A regulation would be blocked from 
being implemented if even one Chamber declines to pass an approval 
resolution. The goal of this legislation, quite simply, is to stop the 
regulatory process in its tracks, regardless of the impact on public 
health and safety.
  One example that highlights the risks and dangers of this legislation 
is

[[Page H142]]

the subject of this amendment: Nuclear power.
  The world watched in horror when an earthquake and resulting tsunami 
devastated the area around Fukushima, Japan, a few years ago. That 
disaster then caused its own disaster--the meltdown of three reactors 
at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The meltdown led to the release 
of radioactive isotopes, the creation of a 20-kilometer exclusion zone 
around the power plant, and the displacement, consequently, of 156,000 
people. Just last month, seaborne radiation from Fukushima was even 
detected on the West Coast of the United States.
  The same year as the Fukushima meltdown, Virginia was struck by a 
relatively rare but strong earthquake, felt up and down the eastern 
seaboard. While the region was spared a similar disaster, the 
earthquake required a nuclear power plant near the epicenter to go 
offline as a precaution and served as a wake-up call that our nuclear 
reactors needed additional safety protocols.
  For me, this concern hits close to home. A nuclear power plant, 
Indian Point, which has suffered numerous malfunctions in recent years, 
lies just less than 40 miles away from my New York City district, about 
30 miles away from the city. Twenty million people live within a 50-
mile radius around the plant, the same radius used by the NRC as the 
basis for the evacuation zone recommended after the Fukushima disaster.

                              {time}  1645

  Indian Point also sits near two earthquake fault lines and, according 
to the NRC, is the most likely nuclear power plant in the country to 
experience core damage because of an earthquake.
  Because of the catastrophes that can result from disasters, be they 
natural or manmade at nuclear power plants, prevention of meltdowns is 
absolutely vital. Since Fukushima, the NRC has issued new rules 
designed to upgrade power plants to withstand severe events like 
earthquakes, and to have enough backup power so as to avoid a meltdown 
for a significant length of time.
  The NRC must retain the ability to issue new regulations to safeguard 
the health and well-being of all Americans. However, this bill is 
intentionally designed so that new and important regulations, including 
those to prevent a nuclear power plant meltdown which could affect 
millions of American, will likely never be put in place, thwarted by 
either chamber of Congress.
  Congress delegates authority to executive agencies because we do not 
have the expertise or time to craft all technical regulations 
ourselves. We should defer to the engineers and scientists at the NRC 
who determine, after careful study, that a particular regulation is 
critical to our safety and to the safe operation of a nuclear power 
plant. This bill, however, would all too easily allow Members of 
Congress to substitute their own judgment or, most likely, the wishes 
of a narrow group of special interests.
  This week we began a new Congress. Later this month we will have a 
new administration, all controlled by Republicans. Between this bill 
and the Midnight Rules bill we passed yesterday, they have chosen to 
make their first order of business the dismantling and destruction of 
the regulatory process, regardless of the impact on public health and 
safety. This gives us a good idea of the priorities we should expect to 
see in the next 2 years.
  The least we can do is to try to ensure that the antiregulatory 
agenda of the Republicans does not have devastating consequences such 
as a nuclear meltdown. I urge my colleagues to support the Nadler 
amendment to exempt nuclear safety regulations from the onerous 
requirements of the underlying bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, the amendment carves out of the REINS Act's 
congressional approval procedures all regulations that pertain to 
nuclear reactor safety standards. REINS Act supporters believe in 
nuclear safety. We want to guarantee that regulatory decisions that 
pertain to nuclear reactor safety are the best decisions that can be 
made.
  That is precisely why I oppose the amendment. By its terms, the 
amendment shields from the REINS Act's congressional approval 
procedures not only major regulations that would raise nuclear reactor 
safety standards, but also regulations that would lower them.
  All major regulations pertaining to nuclear reactor safety standards, 
whether they raise or lower standards, should fall within the REINS 
Act. That way agencies with authority over nuclear reactor safety would 
know that Congress must approve their major regulations before they go 
into effect.
  That provides a powerful incentive for the agencies to write the best 
possible regulations, ones that Congress can easily approve. It is a 
solution that everyone should support because it makes Congress more 
accountable and ensures agencies will write better rules. All Americans 
will be safer for it.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, nuclear meltdowns are a tremendous danger 
to the life and safety of millions of Americans. The Congressional 
Review Act provides if the NRC makes such a regulation, Congress can 
say no. That is appropriate. But to say Congress has to approve any 
regulation in advance, when there may be thousands of regulations or 
hundreds of regulations from different agencies, they may not get to 
it. We may not have time to study it, and lives are at stake. It does 
not make sense. That is why this amendment at least cuts out nuclear 
meltdown regulations, nuclear safety regulations, to say Congress can 
veto them if they don't agree. But the agency should be able to 
promulgate it in the absence of congressional veto.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, once again, this administration has proven 
how thousands of regulations have crushed jobs for the middle class 
people in this country. The REINS Act does designate and allows and 
wants agencies to make decisions as far as what they think the law 
should be and send it to Congress.
  We do have the time. We have the resources and the knowledge. That is 
why we have full committees. That is why we have subcommittees and we 
have experts come in and testify. Yet, we still need to get back--that 
the 535 Members of Congress, the House and the Senate, make the final 
decision and not a handful of unelected bureaucrats.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York 
will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 10 Offered by Mr. McNerney

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 10 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer amendment No. 10 as the 
designee of the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       In paragraph (2) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert after ``means any rule'' the following: ``(other than 
     a special rule)''.
       In paragraph (3) of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, 
     insert before the period at the end the following: ``, and 
     includes any special rule''.
       Add, at the end of section 804, title 5, United States 
     Code, as proposed to be amended by section 3 of the bill, the 
     following:
       ``(6) The term `special rule' means any rule intended to 
     ensure the safety of natural gas or hazardous materials 
     pipelines or prevent, mitigate, or reduce the impact of 
     spills from such pipeline.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman

[[Page H143]]

from California (Mr. McNerney) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
  Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Chairman, recent pipeline incidents have raised 
serious concerns about the condition of the Nation's pipelines that 
threaten the safety and health of American citizens. This amendment 
will ensure that any rule intended to guarantee the safety of natural 
gas or hazardous material pipelines is not considered a major rule 
under this bill and would, therefore, be easier to create.
  Pipeline safety is a bipartisan issue. Congress has shown that 
issuing regulations related to pipelines is a priority, as evident with 
the enactment of the PIPES Act last year.
  However, the bill before us today, H.R. 26, contradicts this historic 
precedent and would have the effect of delaying or preventing any rule 
on pipeline safety from going forward. Pipeline accidents cause major 
property damage, serious injuries or deaths, and harms the environment.
  There are approximately 2.9 million miles of pipeline in the United 
States. They travel through rural and urban areas, Republican and 
Democratic districts, coastlines, inland areas. Everyone is impacted. 
Quality control measures, new infrastructure, and oversight are 
paramount.
  Unfortunately, we have seen the devastating impact of pipeline 
incidents throughout the country, including several accidents and 
spills in California in recent years, such as the spill in Santa 
Barbara that released more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil.
  We have also seen how liquid spills can devastate the people and 
economies in places like Michigan, and the irreplaceable natural 
resources like the Yellowstone River in Montana, or the precious 
coastline of Santa Barbara. Additionally, these explosions and spills 
cause shortages and price increases that impact Americans far from the 
site of the accident.
  A Colonial Pipeline accident this past September in Alabama leaked 
roughly 8,000 barrels of gasoline and saw prices increase by up to 31 
cents a gallon in metropolitan areas in the Southeastern States.
  I agree with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that we 
want effective and efficient government. But, in reality, pipeline 
safety regulations are already subject to duplicative and time-
consuming analyses, including a rigorous risk assessment and cost-
benefit analysis required by the pipeline safety statute. These already 
duplicative review requirements are among the top reasons why the 
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration increasingly 
lags behind the congressional mandate to issue rules that protect 
Americans from dangerous pipeline incidents.
  In fact, this was the subject of a great deal of discussion when the 
Energy and Commerce Committee marked up the pipeline safety 
reauthorization bill last year. I worked with Chairman Upton and 
Ranking Member Pallone to address this issue, as both sides of the 
aisle agreed that the duplicative reviews currently required are 
already slowing down these critical safety laws to a degree that is 
frustrating and dangerous.
  While we make progress in the PIPES Act, I believe we can and should 
do more. The last thing we need is one more layer of bureaucracy to 
further slow down implementation of these critical protections for 
public health, safety, and the environment. We should work together to 
prevent spills and work to minimize impacts when spills or other 
incidents do occur. This includes automatic shut-off valves, leak 
detection, and technologies to reduce clogging and rupture.
  A vote for this amendment is a vote for the safety of the public and 
the environment. It is a vote to protect the land and water that are 
threatened by oil spills. It is a vote for industry that wants 
certainty and clarity and doesn't want to--or benefit from--wait years 
for rules to be finalized. For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to 
support this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, the amendment seeks to carve out from the 
REINS Act's reform regulations that concern natural gas or hazardous 
materials pipeline safety or the prevention of pipeline spills and 
their adverse impacts.
  We all support pipeline safety and the prevention of harm from 
pipeline spills, but there is no assurance that the amendment would 
guarantee the achievement of those goals. On the contrary, the 
amendment would shield from congressional accountability procedures, 
regulations, that actually threaten to decrease safety. They also would 
shield from the bill's congressional approval requirements new, 
ideologically driven regulations intended to impede America's access to 
new sources of cheap, clean, and plentiful natural gas.
  The legislative body is the legislative body. We are trying to have 
oversight over the bureaucracy. The House and the Senate is not a 
bureaucracy. It is a legislative body, according to the Constitution 
that represents the people of the United States. Therefore, the House 
and the Senate and the President should have the last say in whether 
something becomes law or not.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Chairman, my opponent is right. It is the duty of 
Congress to provide rules and to provide guidelines and for the 
agencies to go into the details in creating these rules.
  I know that the other side is opposed to the rules. They have been 
touting about regulations, but poor regulations reduces jobs, too. It 
creates monopolies. It creates pollution. But that is not what we are 
talking about.
  What we are talking about is public safety. I think what we need to 
do is look at what is going to benefit the public safety and what is 
going to protect people, lives, property, and the environment. That is 
what this amendment does. It is simple. It exempts pipeline safety from 
H.R. 26.
  I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, what better group, such as the Committee on 
Energy and Commerce or other committees here, the full committees, the 
subcommittees, would be looking out and should be looking out for the 
public safety and the welfare than the 535 Members of Congress?
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. McNerney).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from California 
will be postponed.


           Amendment No. 11 Offered by Mr. Scott of Virginia

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 11 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Section 804(4) of title 5, United States Code, as proposed 
     to be amended to read by section 3 of the bill, is amended in 
     subparagraph (B), by striking ``or'' at the end.
       Section 804(4) of title 5, United States Code, as proposed 
     to be amended to read by section 3 of the bill, is amended in 
     subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end and 
     inserting ``; or''.
       Section 804(4) of title 5, United States Code, as proposed 
     to be amended to read by section 3 of the bill, is amended by 
     adding at the end the following:
       ``(D) any rule that pertains to workplace health and safety 
     made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or 
     the Mine Safety and Health Administration that is necessary 
     to prevent or reduce the incidence of traumatic injury, 
     cancer or irreversible lung disease.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

[[Page H144]]

  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would exempt from 
coverage under the REINS Act any rule which pertains to workplace 
health and safety made by the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, OSHA, or the Mine Safety and Health Administration, 
MSHA, that is necessary to prevent or reduce the incidence of traumatic 
injury, cancer or irreversible lung disease.
  I am offering the amendment because we should not be creating 
obstacles to the protection of life and limb. We should be concerned 
about repealing such workplace rules. Actually, this concern is not 
theoretical. There was a report from the chairman of the Freedom Caucus 
that actually calls for the repeal of multiple safety and health rules.

                              {time}  1700

  One OSHA rule, for example, will reduce slip, trip, and fall hazards, 
which are actually a leading cause of worker deaths and lost workday 
injuries. We found that this rule had not been updated since 1971, and 
OSHA has calculated that over 10 years the rule will prevent nearly 300 
worker deaths and more than 58,000 lost-time injuries. The net benefit, 
cash benefit, of the rule is projected to be over $3 billion over 10 
years.
  Another rule at risk is the modernization of OSHA's beryllium 
exposure limit, a 70-year-old standard that was obsolete even before it 
was issued. Workers who inhaled beryllium can develop debilitating, 
incurable, and frequently fatal illnesses. One known as chronic 
beryllium disease also increased lung cancer.
  In the 1940s, workers at the Atomic Energy Commission plants were 
contracting acute beryllium poisoning. To deal with the problem, two 
scientists agreed to set the exposure limit at 2 micrograms per cubic 
meter of air while sitting in the back of a taxicab on their way to a 
meeting. This discredited standard is often called the taxicab standard 
because there was no data to support it, and there is now significant 
scientific evidence that show that it has failed to protect workers.
  One cost of keeping the so-called taxicab standard is estimated at 
the loss of nearly 100 lives a year. So we need to make sure that this 
rule is updated. It is in final stages after 18 years of development. 
The finalized rule is expected to come out soon. Other rules involve 
mine safety and other safety and health concerns.
  The REINS Act would make it harder to protect workers' health and 
safety. The bill would create more bureaucracy by requiring that any 
major rule receive bicameral resolution of support within 70 
legislative days prior to the rule taking effect.
  This bill even provides for a reach back to consider rules issued 
last spring. Under this bill, a single House of Congress could block a 
rule. That raises significant constitutional concerns. By allowing a 
one-House veto, the bill violates the presentment clause of the 
Constitution of the United States.
  My amendment ensures essential workplace safety protections are not 
jeopardized by this flawed legislation.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``yes'' vote on my amendment, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, this amendment carves out of the REINS 
Act's congressional approval procedures any workplace safety rules 
issued by OSHA or the Mine Safety and Health Administration to reduce 
traumatic injury, cancer, or lung disease.
  But please do not be fooled. This amendment is not about reducing 
these maladies. It is about transferring the power to decide how best 
to do so from elected Representatives, being House Members and 
Senators, to unaccountable bureaucrats.
  Arriving at the right decision requires a delicate balancing of 
interests. Agencies can provide valuable expertise, but when there is a 
lot at stake, the ultimate decision on how best to strike that balance 
is properly made by elected officials accountable to the people. That 
is the intuition behind the REINS Act and the fundamental point that is 
lost on its opponents.
  Preventing workplace injury is a goal all Members share. This bill 
does not frustrate that goal. It merely ensures that elected 
Representatives make the final call about major decisions so that our 
Republic remains a government by the people as the Constitution's 
Framers designed.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Courtney).
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment, 
which really is a life-or-death question before the Chamber.
  On February 7, 2010, a bunch of workers who were at a natural gas 
plant construction site early in the morning lost their lives in a 
horrific explosion because there was a natural gas blow where they 
intentionally put natural gas through the pipe that was being installed 
as a way of cleaning it. This is a practice which the pipe suppliers, 
Siemens, GE, and others have issued serious warning is an unsafe 
practice. Unfortunately, it wasn't followed that day, so six men lost 
their lives. One of them was Ronnie Crabb, who was a dear friend of 
mine.
  It never should have happened because, again, in the private sector, 
the workplace standard was there, but there was no workplace standard 
in OSHA, which is now, again, trapped in the Chemical Safety Board and 
the regulatory process.
  This bill is just going to do nothing but, again, add additional 
obstacles so that preventive measures that OSHA is really about--it is 
about compliance, not retribution. There was a $16 million fine imposed 
after the fact. The company, the contractor, went out of business and 
paid just a fraction of it. That is not the way to protect workers' 
lives. Let's allow a healthy regulatory process with private sector 
input so that people like Ronnie Crabb won't lose their lives in the 
future.
  Mr. Chairman, again, I strongly support the Scott amendment.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia 
will be postponed.


              Amendment No. 12 Offered by Mr. King of Iowa

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 12 
printed in House Report 115-1.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk made 
in order under the rule.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, as proposed to be 
     amended by section 3 of the bill, is amended by adding at the 
     end the following (and conforming the table of sections 
     accordingly):

     ``Sec. 808. Review of rules currently in effect

       ``(a) Annual Review.--Beginning on the date that is 6 
     months after the date of enactment of this section and 
     annually thereafter for the 9 years following, each agency 
     shall designate not less than 10 percent of eligible rules 
     made by that agency for review, and shall submit a report 
     including each such eligible rule in the same manner as a 
     report under section 801(a)(1). Section 801, section 802, and 
     section 803 shall apply to each such rule, subject to 
     subsection (c) of this section. No eligible rule previously 
     designated may be designated again.
       ``(b) Sunset for Eligible Rules Not Extended.--Beginning 
     after the date that is 10 years after the date of enactment 
     of this section, if Congress has not enacted a joint 
     resolution of approval for that eligible rule, that eligible 
     rule shall not continue in effect.
       ``(c) Consolidation; Severability.--In applying sections 
     801, 802, and 803 to eligible rules under this section, the 
     following shall apply:
       ``(1) The words `take effect' shall be read as `continue in 
     effect'.

[[Page H145]]

       ``(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a single joint 
     resolution of approval shall apply to all eligible rules in a 
     report designated for a year, and the matter after the 
     resolving clause of that joint resolution is as follows: 
     `That Congress approves the rules submitted by the __ for the 
     year __.' (The blank spaces being appropriately filled in).
       ``(3) It shall be in order to consider any amendment that 
     provides for specific conditions on which the approval of a 
     particular eligible rule included in the joint resolution is 
     contingent.
       ``(4) A member of either House may move that a separate 
     joint resolution be required for a specified rule.
       ``(d) Definition.--In this section, the term `eligible 
     rule' means a rule that is in effect as of the date of 
     enactment of this section.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 22, the gentleman from 
Iowa (Mr. King) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Iowa.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, first, I want to say that I have been 
a long and strong supporter of the REINS Act. I want to compliment 
Congressman Geoff Davis of Kentucky for introducing and crafting that 
legislation. While he was doing that, I was drafting a bill that I 
named the Sunset Act, and I looked at this from the broad scope of 
this, that we have a lot of regulations that exist and have existed for 
decades. Some of them are burdensome and some of them are not.
  The effect of the REINS Act, which I certainly will support on a 
final passage, hopefully with the King amendment adopted in it, but the 
REINS Act de facto simply grandfathers in existing regulations. So it 
is only prospective. It addresses the major regulations going forward, 
but not those that we are stuck with, such as the Waters of the United 
States, the Clean Power Plan, the overtime rule, the fiduciary rule, 
the net neutrality rule, the Dodd-Frank rules, and, heaven forbid, the 
ObamaCare rules if we should fail to repeal ObamaCare.
  So what the King amendment does is it directs and allows the agencies 
and the executive branch of government to send a minimum of 10 percent 
of their regulations to the Congress each year for the duration of a 
decade encompassing a full 100 percent of all the regulations in place 
at the time of passage and enactment of the underlying legislation.
  That gives Congress, then, authority and a vote over all of this. It 
gives us an ability to amend that legislation. We can pass them all en 
banc, we can amend them accordingly, or we can do what our Founding 
Fathers envisioned we should do. That is the essence of this.
  By the way, President-elect Trump has made some strong pledges on 
dramatically reducing regulation in the United States. He doesn't have 
the tools without the King amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the 
King amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I oppose this amendment, which 
establishes an idiosyncratic process establishing an automatic sunset 
of public health and safety protections. It requires that agencies 
conduct an annual review of current rules to designate 10 percent of 
its existing rules to be eliminated within 10 years of the bill's 
enactment unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of approval for 
eligible bills.
  Now, I understand to the listening public that sounds kind of 
complicated, but the bottom line is they want to do away--my friends on 
the other side of the aisle--with net neutrality, which is something 
that a Federal agency requires. So if you want the Internet, which we 
all built and paid for through the Federal Government through our taxes 
and then we turned it over to the private sector, but we still have a 
public interest in the net being neutral so that all traffic flows 
equally over the Web without some being slower than others according to 
how much you can afford to pay. That is not fair.
  So this King amendment is a part of a regulatory scheme proposed by 
this legislation, the REINS Act, which is going to hurt Americans. It 
is going to hurt the health, safety, and well-being of the people when 
you are not able to have clean water, clean food, edible food, safe 
products, clean air, and clean water. These are the things that the 
REINS Act gets at. It doesn't want Americans to be healthy. It doesn't 
want the Internet to be neutral. Why? Because corporate America and 
Wall Street put people in office to do their bidding. That is what the 
REINS Act is all about. This King amendment will make it worse.
  Under current law, Federal agencies already conduct an extensive 
retrospective review process of existing rules and have already saved 
taxpayers billions of dollars in cost savings. Since 2011, the Obama 
administration has made a durable commitment to ensuring retrospective 
review of existing regulatory protections. Under Executive Orders 13563 
and 13610, the administration has required that of agencies.
  According to Howard Shelanski, the administrator of the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs under the Obama administration, the 
Obama administration's retrospective review initiative has achieved an 
estimated $37 billion in cost savings, reduced paperwork, and other 
benefits for Americans over the past 5 years.
  Furthermore, as the Obama administration has stated in the context of 
a veto threat of a similarly draconian antiregulatory proposal in a 
previous Congress, ``It is important that retrospective review efforts 
not unnecessarily constrain an agency's ability to provide a timely 
response to critical public health or safety issues, or constrain its 
ability to implement new statutory provisions.'' That is what the King 
amendment would do.
  In fact, because agencies are already committed to a thorough review 
process to identify and eliminate regulatory burdens, it may be 
impossible for agencies to make additional cuts without severely 
affecting public health and safety.
  Lastly, while the majority has repeatedly noted that H.R. 26 is 
forward-looking legislation, this amendment would make the bill apply 
retroactively to protections and safeguards that exist at the bill's 
date of enactment, a bald attempt to gut protections adopted by the 
Obama administration, including net neutrality.
  Mr. Chairman, I oppose the amendment, and I urge my colleagues to do 
the same.
  I reserve the balance of my time.

                   Statement of Administration Policy


  h.r. 427--regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 
               2015--rep. young, r-in, and 171 cosponsors

       The Administration is committed to ensuring that 
     regulations are smart and effective, and tailored to further 
     statutory goals in the most cost-effective and efficient 
     manner. Accordingly, the Administration strongly opposes 
     House passage of H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive 
     in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, which would impose an 
     unprecedented requirement that a joint resolution of approval 
     be enacted by the Congress before any major rule of an 
     Executive Branch agency could have force or effect. This 
     radical departure from the longstanding separation of powers 
     between the Executive and Legislative branches would delay 
     and, in many cases, thwart implementation of statutory 
     mandates and execution of duly-enacted laws, create business 
     uncertainty, undermine much-needed protections of the 
     American public, and cause unnecessary confusion.
       There is no justification for such an unprecedented 
     requirement. When a Federal agency promulgates a major rule, 
     it must already adhere to the particular requirements of the 
     statute that it is implementing and to the constraints 
     imposed by other Federal statutes and the Constitution. 
     Indeed, in many cases, the Congress has mandated that the 
     agency issue the particular rule. The agency must also comply 
     with the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative 
     Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.). When an agency issues a 
     major rule, it must perform analyses of benefits and costs, 
     analyses that are typically required by one or more statutes 
     (such as the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Unfunded 
     Mandates Reform Act, and the Paperwork Reduction Act) as well 
     as by Executive Orders 12866 and 13563.
       In addition, this Administration has already taken numerous 
     steps to reduce regulatory costs and to ensure that all major 
     regulations are designed to maximize net benefits to society. 
     Executive Order 13563 requires careful cost-benefit analysis, 
     public participation, harmonization of rulemaking across 
     agencies, flexible regulatory approaches, and a regulatory 
     retrospective review. In addition, Executive Order 13610 
     further institutionalizes retrospective review by requiring 
     agencies to report regularly on the ways in which they are 
     identifying and reducing the burden of existing regulations. 
     Finally, agency rules are subject to the jurisdiction of 
     Federal courts.
       Moreover, for the past 19 years, the Congress itself has 
     had the opportunity, under the Congressional Review Act of 
     1996, to review on an individual basis the rules--both major 
     and non-major--that Federal agencies have issued.

[[Page H146]]

       By replacing this well-established framework with a blanket 
     requirement of Congressional approval, H.R. 427 would throw 
     all major regulations into a months-long limbo, fostering 
     uncertainty and impeding business investment that is vital to 
     economic growth. Maintaining an appropriate allocation of 
     responsibility between the two branches is essential to 
     ensuring that the Nation's regulatory system effectively 
     protects public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, 
     while also promoting economic growth, innovation, 
     competitiveness, and job creation.
       If the President were presented with H.R. 427, his senior 
     advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I would inquire as to how much time 
may be remaining for each side.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa has 3\1/2\ minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Georgia has half a minute remaining.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Marino).
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I fully support Congressman 
King's amendment. It improves the viability of the REINS Act and makes 
sure that the responsibility of legislation is in the hands of we 
legislators.
  Let me just ask this simple question. My good friend on the other 
side says that we should let the agencies and departments regulate and 
make rules. Let me ask this: How has it been going in the last 20 years 
in this country?
  We are $20 trillion in debt, and 20 million people are out of work or 
underemployed.
  Are we going to continue to let bureaucrats make these decisions that 
crush jobs?
  No, I don't think so. It is our responsibility in the House and it is 
our responsibility in the Senate. We can hear from those individuals, 
as I have repeatedly said here, in those agencies. We need to make the 
final decision because just look at the track record over the last 20, 
30 years of unelected bureaucrats making these rules, laws, and 
regulations.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, we can't blame a $20 trillion 
deficit or debt on nameless, faceless bureaucrats. We can blame a lot 
of that debt on the George Bush administration and the legislators who 
voted for tax cuts for the wealthy that were not paid for and funded 
two wars that were not paid for. That is what we can blame that $20 
trillion debt on.

                              {time}  1715

  Again, if you are in favor of net neutrality, you should oppose this 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, first, I would say that yes, we can blame a lot of debt 
and deficit on a burden of regulations. We can blame it because there 
is a huge cost to our executive branch of government. That cost, much 
of it, the unnecessary component, all that goes against our debt and 
deficit.
  We saw, as Barack Obama came in as President, we had a $10 trillion 
debt, which he was very critical of throughout his campaign in 2007 and 
2008. Now, as he leaves office here, thankfully, in a couple of weeks, 
it is a $20 trillion debt, and we can start to ratchet this thing back 
down.
  Looking at the Obama administration and their reports on the costs of 
regulation, they come up with this number reported to the Heritage 
Foundation that the annual cost of regulations to the United States, 
according to the Obama administration, is $108 billion, Mr. Chairman. 
So that is what we are looking at here for costs.
  But I want to get at the real meat of this. Article I of the 
Constitution says Congress shall make all law. Yet, we have the courts 
making laws across the street, and we have regulations coming at us at 
a rate of--and I expressed to the gentleman from Georgia--ten-to-one. 
For every law we passed in the 114th Congress, there were at least 10 
regulations that were poured over our head, and we are sitting in a 
place where we don't have the tools to undo them.
  Now we have a President that is ready, and he wants to undo these 
regulations. If we make him march through the Administrative Procedure 
Act, it is heavy, it is burdensome, and it is time-consuming. But the 
King amendment gives the tools for the next President of the United 
States to work with Congress to trim this regulatory burden down. And 
the most important part is, it makes all of us in the House and the 
Senate accountable then for all of the regulations.
  The APA was allowed to dish off this legislative responsibility to 
the executive branch. Congress took a pass. They ducked their 
responsibility of being accountable for all legislation and found a way 
to be producing less than 10 percent of the legislation that exists 
even in a given year.
  The King amendment says that over the period of a decade, 10 percent 
a year at a minimum, Congress will have to review all the regulations. 
The people from across America--we the people--will weigh in on that 
regulation. And then an even better part is not only will we be 
accountable here in Congress--and we should be--but when the nameless, 
faceless bureaucrats are across the desk from our constituents and they 
refuse to listen to our constituents, there is going to be a little bug 
in the back of their ear that is going to be saying to them: You know 
what? This constituent that may be losing their business over this 
regulation, the next stop they make is going to be with their 
Congressman. These regulations that we promulgated are going to be 
subject then to being repealed by the United States Congress, as they 
should be.
  Support the King amendment. It puts the authority back into the hands 
of Article I, we the people.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Iowa will be 
postponed.
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Byrne) having assumed the chair, Mr. Poe of Texas, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 26) to 
amend chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that major 
rules of the executive branch shall have no force or effect unless a 
joint resolution of approval is enacted into law, had come to no 
resolution thereon.

                          ____________________