Republicans have passed several bills this year aimed at slowing the pace of regulations, but Democrats, who generally oppose them all, see the REINS Act as the Republicans' signature bill on regulations. "H.R. 10 is the mother of all anti-regulatory bills," House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) said.
"I urge my colleagues to vote no on this REINS Act and to get to work to expand the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for the American people," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. "Only then will we increase demand in our economy, create jobs, promote economic growth and put money into the pockets of 160 million Americans."
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) agreed, along with other Democrats, that the bill is a waste of time given the jobs crisis that U.S. is facing.
"I continue to be disappointed that House Republicans are wasting Congress's time on ideologically driven bills to erode federal protections for consumers and communities instead of working on a plan to create jobs," Hoyer said.
Republicans argued back that business owners continue to tell them that regulatory uncertainty is a significant hurdle to job creation.
"Whether I'm speaking to Fortune 50 CEOs out of Dallas Texas where I reside, or small business people in East Texas that I have the privilege of representing in this body, they all tell me the same thing," Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said during debate. "The No. 1 impediment to jobs in America today is the federal regulatory burden."
Before final passage, the House approved just one Republican amendment that would require federal agencies to assess whether proposed rules would add to or detract from job creation.
House passage sends the bill to the Senate, which again is not expected to consider it at all. House Republicans have argued over the last several weeks that the House is sending jobs bills to the Senate, which is refusing to act on them.