Prof. Levin Testifies on REINS Act before Congressional Subcommittee

Ronald M. Levin, the William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor of Law, told a congressional subcommittee recently that enactment of the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would only worsen gridlock in government.

“Under the REINS Act, the dysfunction that now afflicts Congress in the enactment of laws would spread to the implementation of the laws,” Levin testified before the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.

Under the proposed act, an administrative agency that seeks to issue a major rule would need to obtain an affirmative vote from both the House of Representatives and Senate. At least for now, the two houses have wide ideological differences, Levin said. “The effect of the act would be that no agency could promulgate a major rule on any controversial subject. The administrative process would be severely impaired.”

A regulation with at least a $100 million impact is considered a “major rule.” Several of the rules that will implement the Affordable Care Act will meet this definition.

“If the act were enacted this year, this interference with the rulemaking process would affect a Democratic administration, but in the long run we will have both Democratic and Republican presidents, and this act would pose a major barrier to any president’s ability to pursue the policies that he or she was elected to promote,” Levin said.

Click here to review Prof. Levin's testimony.