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House Passes REINS Act to Curb 'Job-Crushing Regulations'

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure which would require congressional approval for major regulations. Conservatives argue that it would return oversight to Congress and prevent Obama-sytle job-killing regulations, while liberals worry it would undermine the regulatory state.

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the bill in a statement, declaring, "We will set in motion a series of reforms to fix the regulatory system itself." The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would require any regulation which would have an economic impact of $100 million or more to pass Congress and be signed by the president. If the regulation failed to do so after 70 days, it would become null and void.

As Ryan argued, the REINS Act "will provide more accountability and transparency before major rules or regulations take effect," and "help make sure the government gets it right."

The bill passed with a 237 to 187 vote on Thursday. From there it will move into the U.S. Senate, where legislative procedure will allow the Democratic minority to mount powerful opposition to the bill.

President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to sign the bill, should it reach his desk. "I will sign the REINS Act should it reach my desk as President and more importantly I will work hard to get it passed," Trump told American Commitment President Phil Kerpen in a statement. "The monstrosity that is the Federal Government with its pages and pages of rules and regulations has been a disaster for the American economy and job growth. The REINS Act is one major step toward getting our government under control."

While the Senate's powerful Democratic minority is the major roadblock for the bill — the REINS Act would require 60 votes to pass the chamber, and while Republicans have a 52-seat majority, Democrats effectively have 48 votes — some conservative groups welcomed the chance to hold Senate Democrats accountable for stopping the legislation.

"I want the Senate to spend time on these bills because I want senators held accountable on votes for these things," Andy Koenig, vice president of policy at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, told PJ Media in an email statement. Koenig noted that many Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018 will be running in states that Donald Trump won last year.