REINS Act: Number and Types of 'Major Rules' in Recent Years [December 2, 2011]   [open pdf - 626KB]

From the Summary: "Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA, 5 U.S.C. [United States Code] §§801-808), a covered agency regulation takes effect as provided by law unless Congress disapproves the rule with a joint resolution of disapproval. In contrast, the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 10 and S. 299, 112th Congress) would (if enacted) generally require the enactment of a joint resolution of 'approval' before any 'major rule' could take effect (e.g., rules that are expected to have a $100 million annual impact on the economy). The REINS Act was reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on November 10, 2011, and by the Committee on Rules on November 18, 2011. This report provides information on the types of 'major rules' that may be covered by the REINS Act, if enacted. Specifically, it identifies how many major rules have been issued in recent years, and which agencies have issued them. […] In 20 of those 39 rules, estimated costs and benefits were both expected to exceed $100 million. In 14 of these rules, the agencies' lowest estimates of regulatory benefits were larger than the highest estimated compliance costs. In only one rule were the lowest costs greater than the highest benefits, and the agency indicated that this result was caused by the lack of discretion provided in the underlying statute. These variations in the type of major rules do not bring into question the appropriateness of congressional oversight. However, Congress may need different types of expertise to oversee different types of major rules. H.R. 214 (112th Congress), which would create a Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis, may provide access to that expertise. This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41651
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations