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ASCRS Issues Letter of Support for REINS Act Legislation Sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, MD (R-KY) that Would Require Congressional Approval for Major Federal Rulemaking

This week, ASCRS sent a letter of support for legislation sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, MD (R-KY), an ophthalmologist. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS Act (S. 226), would require Congressional approval of major rules proposed by the executive branch. As we reported last week, the concept of the REINS Act is in line with solutions proposed by George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley at the ASCRS•ASOA Joint Government Relations General Session during the 2016 Symposium and Congress last month. The REINS Act is aimed at improving the regulatory process to ensure rulemaking more closely follows the intent of the laws passed by Congress. When proposing a rule, the bill would require a federal agency to provide Congress with detailed analysis of the rule, including potential economic impacts. The bill stipulates that Congress must act within 70 days on the legislative calendar to approve a major rule, and that the rule be signed by the President, or else it may not take effect. The bill allows for the President to approve rules dealing with certain emergency situations for 90-day periods without the approval of Congress. An identical bill, H.R. 427, passed the House in 2015. Additional information is available in a one-page summary of the bill.