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Introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act requires congressional approval for economically significant rules promulgated by federal regulatory agencies. Rules defined as economically significant have an annual impact of $100 million or more. The Obama administration finalized more than 600 economically significant rules in less than eight years. The REINS Act brings a crucial check on executive power, reduces the influence of federal regulatory agencies, and begins to reclaim Congress’ constitutional power as the sole lawmaking authority under the Constitution.
Introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the Regulatory Accountability Act seeks to reform the regulatory process, making it more transparent for the American people and more accountable to Congress. It also includes language to reverse the Chevron deference, which has been used by regulatory agencies to enact law without judicial review.
This resolution of disapproval of the Congressional Review Act nullifies the Securities and Exchange Commission's Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers rule. Promulgated under the authority of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or Dodd-Frank, this rule requires resource extraction issuers to include in annual reports the payment of any entity controlled by the regulated business to foreign governments or the United States government "for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals." The Securities and Exchange Commission projects initial compliance costs between $239 million and $700 million and annual compliance costs between $96 million and $591 million.
This resolution of disapproval of the Congressional Review Act nullifies the Department of the Interior's Stream Protection Rule. With an annual estimated cost of $81 million, according to the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the Stream Protection Rule is another blow to the coal industry, which was a favorite target of the Obama administration. The National Mining Association estimates that rule will lead to billions of dollars in lost revenues to state and local governments, as well as the loss of between 113,000 and 280,000 jobs.
This resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act nullifies a the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation. This regulation requires federal contractors to disclose decisions on the reporting of violations of federal labor laws and creates paycheck transparency protections for employees of federal contractors. The rule is expected to cost employers $458.3 million in the first year, $413.7 million in the second year, and between $398.5 million and $400 million annually thereafter.
This resolution of disapproval of the Congressional Review Act nullifies Bureau of Land Management’s Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation Rule. With annual compliance costs between $114 million and $279 million, the so-called “venting and flaring” rule purports to reduce waste from “reduce the waste of natural gas from mineral leases administered” by the Bureau of Land Management. In reality, the purpose of the rule is to discourage oil and gas production on land overseen by the agency. The Bureau of Land Management estimates annual compliance costs between $114 million and $279 million.
This resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress authority to effectively nullify regulations submitted for review by federal agencies within 60 legislative days, would cancel the Department of Education’s Accountability and State Plans Rule. The Department of Education’s Accountability and State Plans Rule implements part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and leaves open a loophole that federal bureaucrats could exploit to force Common Core on states that haven't implemented the standards. Education officials from several states and local jurisdictions strongly opposed the rule when it was being crafted.
Introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act would eliminate the antitrust exemption the health insurance industry currently has under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. One of the main problems with the health care system today is the protections put in place by the federal government that cater to special interest groups. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act promotes the free market and competition by changing a law put in place nearly 70 years ago to reflect the current market we have today. It would also ensure that the health insurance industry complies with the same laws other businesses do.
ObamaCare has caused the cost of health insurance coverage to rise, making it difficult for small businesses to continue offering health insurance coverage to employees. The Small Business Health Fairness Act would help level the playing field for small businesses, which don’t have the negotiating power of larger firms and exemptions under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and lower administrative costs related to health insurance.
This bill uses the budget procedure known as "reconciliation" to repeal most of ObamaCare. The greater portion of ObamaCare's worst portions are included in this repeal bill, including its many new taxes, the unconstitutional individual and employer mandates, the expansion of Medicaid, and the insurance premium subsidies. Passing this bill laid out the blueprint for how Congress would achieve full repeal once President Obama leaves the White House.
This vote was to override President Barack Obama's veto of the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which would have repealed ObamaCare through reconciliation.
The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act relaxed FDA regulations that required business owners who own 20 or more restaurants to provide calorie information on their menus. This is costly one-size-fits-all regulation, made possible by ObamaCare, that will cost business owners $1 billion.
The Email Privacy Act would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) to protect the privacy of email communications by requiring a warrant to access emails and other covered electronic communications by American citizens that are in the custody of a service provider and more than 180 days old. H.R. 699 passed the House Judiciary Committee by a unanimous vote. This legislation is an important step in protecting the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures and updating our laws for the 21st Century.
This legislation is an important step in protecting the First Amendment rights of Americans against harassment and coercion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), this bill stops the IRS from collecting and releasing information about donors to tax-exempt organizations, which would chill political speech. The legislation would protect the free speech of donors to nonprofit organizations by modifying IRS disclosure requirements of information such as donor names and addresses. Under H.R. 5053, tax-exempt organizations are required to report only information on donors who contribute $5,000 or more and who are either an officer of the organization or one of its five highest paid employees.
H. Amdt. 1194 offered by Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), to H.R. 5293, to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2017, would retain the U.S. military’s current practice of providing cash stipend to recruits, allowing them to pick the footwear of their personal preference. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed by the House and Senate in May, changed current practice regarding footwear by including a “buy American” requirement, replacing the current cash allowance. This new language is a de facto earmark because it benefits one company: New Balance. The Department of Defense has concluded that the new language in the NDAA “would directly lead to a higher recruit injury rate at basic training,” The amendment would undo the New Balance provision, and halt an egregious example of crony capitalism that will cost taxpayers over $300 million and keeps this provision from coming into effect by not backing it.
H. Amdt. 1204 offered by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), to H.R. 5293, to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2017, protects the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans from unauthorized searches and seizures of property. The bill in its current form requires the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies to follow due process and obtain a warrant to collect the communications of American citizens. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was written to only allow the government to collect the communications of foreigners, but a large quantity of American communications are bundled in during the process. By prohibiting backdoor spying, this measure represents a step forward in the battle to ensure privacy and security in the face of unconstitutional surveillance. The amendment also prohibits government agencies from requesting that U.S. companies build security vulnerabilities into their hardware or software in order to make it easier for the government to access them
H. Amdt. 1243 offered by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.)) which “reduces the salary of the IRS Commissioner to $0 annually from date of enactment through January 20, 2017;”
H. Amdt. 1249 offered by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) which “prohibits funds the use of funds to pay a performance bonus to any senior IRS employee
H. Amdt. 1245 by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) which “prohibits funds from being used to implement, administer, or enforce a new regulatory action of $100 million or more;”
The Anti-terrorism Information Sharing Is Strength Act expands Section 314 of the USA PATRIOT Act to a host of domestic crimes that have nothing to do with terrorism. The bill also surrenders more rulemaking authority to the Treasury Department at a time when the regulatory state is out of control.
This bill modifies the scope of judicial review of agency actions to authorize courts reviewing agency actions to decide de novo (without giving deference to the agency's interpretation) all relevant questions of law, including the interpretation of constitutional and statutory provisions, and rules made by agencies.
H. Amdt.1346 offered by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) which “reduces Appropriations made in this Act for the Environmental Protection Agency by 17 percent.” The cost of EPA’s Clean Power Plan to Pennsylvania consumers would be shifted back to the EPA under this statement
H. Amdt. 1314 offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) which “imposes a 1 percent across-the-board spending cut to the bill;”
H. Amdt. 1342 offered by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) which “ensures that none of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Enforcement Division.” The cost and extent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Enforcement Division are addressed by this amendment
H. Amdt. 1330 offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) which “ensures that no funds appropriated by this Act can be used to implement, administer, or enforce Davis-Bacon prevailing rate wage requirements;”
In March 2015, the DOJ restricted the use of civil asset forfeiture in cases where structuring -- in which a bank account holder makes frequent deposits below $10,000 -- is the only offense suspected. Civil asset forfeiture is a pernicious form of government overreach by which federal agencies can seize cash or property without ever arresting, charging or prosecuting someone of a crime. The Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act codified this administrative change.
The continuing resolution through December 9, 2016 triggers a lame duck session of Congress, which is designed to bolster the failed Beltway practice of legislating at the expense of the American taxpayers instead of for them. The CR will continue this pattern of irresponsible spending by forcing a new spending measure to be considered in a lame duck when the current session of Congress is wrapping up and members are at their least accountable.
The motion to refer was a procedural move made by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to block H.Res. 828 from consideration on the floor of the House. The motion sent the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee, effectively killing it in the 114th Congress. In September, FreedomWorks reserved the right to key vote against any motion that would prevent the resolution consideration. The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is appointed to a five-year term. John Koskinen took office in December 2013, meaning that he could, theoretically, continue to hold his current post in the next administration.
While this bill may have good intentions, there should not be federal intervention. The bill does not properly limit the rulemaking authority of the DOJ, and rather, opens shortens the amount of time available to examine and debate the content. “Federal standards must respect the ‘civil rights and liberties’ of people being tracked, including their Fourth Amendment rights. Data collected must be used ‘solely for the purpose of preventing injury or death.’” We cannot risk civil liberties or allow our privacies to be ignored.
This bill fully repeals all of ObamaCare and also directs the relevant House committees to draft a patient-centered health care reform proposal to replace it. ObamaCare has failed to either make health insurance more affordable or to improve access or quality of care, and must be repealed in order to enact real reforms to accomplish those goals.
This amendment by Rep. Tom McClintock would completely end the federal subsidies for Amtrak. In spite of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, Amtrak has continued to run an inefficient service that racks up massive annual losses, and should not continue being propped up by the government.
This bill would fully repeal the federal estate tax, better known to most as the "death tax". Not only does the death tax represent double (or more) taxation of an individual's property and belongings, it can also destroy individually owned family farms and small businesses.
While this bill is intended to make information sharing on cyber threats easier, it also sacrifices many privacy protections in the process. The bill fails to ensure that companies and government agencies are not sharing personally identifiable information when they report cyber attacks. Worse, the bill requires that cyber threat information be shared with the NSA. Although well-intentioned, the privacy loopholes in this bill turn in from a "cybersecurity" bill to a "cybersurveillance" bill.
This amendment by Rep. Tom McClintock would eliminate the Department of Energy funding for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Fossil Energy programs, and would sharply reduce funding for nuclear energy programs. Removing these market-distorting subsidies would save nearly $3 billion.
Currently, the NSA and FBI can access the electronic communications of U.S. citizens collected without a specific warrant under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This amendment by Reps. Massie and Lofgren would defund those activities. It would also prevent the NSA from requesting that security vulnerabilities be built into private products.
This bill would delay the EPA from implementing their economically devastating new greenhouse gas emissions rule for existing power plants. If implemented, this rule would cause many coal-fired power plants to shut down, dramatically increasing energy costs for millions of Americans.
This amendment by Rep. Zeldin would greatly strengthen current prohibitions against coercing states to adopt national educational standards. Specifically, it prohibits the Secretary of Education from conditioning any grant money or waivers upon states keeping Common Core or any other specific national curriculum standards.
This amendment by Rep. Polis (introduced for Rep. Meng) would establish grants to entice states to subsidize early childhood education (Head Start) programs. This would entail an effective federalization of pre-K education at taxpayer expense. Not only does the federal government have no place centralizing yet another aspect of education, repeated studies have shown that Head Start and similar pre-K education programs are ineffective.
As written, H.R. 6 would create nearly $2 billion per year in new mandatory spending (not subject to budget caps). This amendment by Rep. Brat would force Congress to account for the new spending under the Budget Control Act caps and therefore to find equivalent cuts elsewhere.
This bill, entitled the “REINS Act”, would require a vote in Congress on any “major” regulation (over $100 million in economic impact) issued by the executive branch before it could be enforced on the American people. The REINS Act would thus restore much of Congress' lawmaking authority that it has ceded to the executive branch over the past century.
In an uncommon move, 218 Members of the House of Representatives signed a discharge petition regarding H.R. 597 - a bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States. This successful petition bypasses the House Committee on Finance, in which the bill had been stalled, bringing the bill straight to the House floor. The Export-Import bank serves as a taxpayer-backed conduit for corporate welfare, and should be left expired. Only signers of the petition are scored for this vote.
This amendment by Rep. Justin Amash would remove the section of the bill that would provide $500 million in new spending for the Maritime Security Fleet program. This new spending, while a relatively small amount was quietly added into the bill without any vote, ignoring the amendment and committee process. This spending represents a shallow attempt to court a narrow special interest group to gain votes for the bill - essentially violating the House ban on earmarks.
This bill would reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank through 2019. The Ex-Im Bank's loans and guarantees distort trade markets, and mostly flow to a small number of immense, politically connected corporations. Congress allowed the Ex-Im Bank's charter to expire in June, and this 80-year-old corporate welfare program should stay closed.
This bill was the vehicle for the budget agreement that will spend $80 billion beyond the Budget Control Act caps over two years, along with $16 billion in new defense spending that doesn't count towards the caps. The supposed offsets to this spending are mostly either gimmicks or long-term, while the new deficit spending is immediate. The bill also suspends the debt ceiling through March of 2017, effectively giving the government a blank check for that period.
This amendment by Rep. Steve King would effectively prevent Davis-Bacon wage controls from applying to the infrastructure projects funded by this highway funding bill. These onerous wage requirement were designed to shut out competition with unions for federal contracts, and end up costing taxpayers huge sums of money.
This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on existing coal-fired power plants. This tremendously destructive regulation would greatly increase energy costs in the many states which rely heavily upon coal-fired power plants for their electricity. These cost increases damage overall economic growth, and in particular lower the standard of living of lower-income earners.
This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on any future coal-fired power plants. This rule tightens emissions standards to the point where it will likely not be economically feasible to build new coal-fired electric plants, crippling one of the most abundant and cost-effective sources of energy in America.
This amendment by Rep. Joe Barton would finally lift the decades-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil. This would allow the U.S. to take better advantage of our recent major surge in oil production, creating thousands of new jobs and boosting economic growth in the process.
This bill would renew federal highway funding to states for a period of five years. However, it does not solve the structural deficit within the Highway Trust Fund, doesn't eliminate the wasteful spending that takes away from funding roads, and doesn't offset that spending in any real way. Furthermore, this bill contains a reauthorization of the expired Export-Import Bank, in order to prevent having a standalone vote on renewing such a direct corporate welfare fund.
This omnibus appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2016 funds former Speaker Boehner's budget-busting deal to the tune of $50 billion above the budget caps for 2016. It contains several very troubling legislative riders a well, including more funding for the IMF, and a massive new cybersecurity information sharing program that violates consumers' privacy and due process. It also fails to include most of the amendments from the appropriations process that would have defunded key, harmful federal regulations.