House panel advances bill giving Congress veto power over regulations

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Democrats also note that Congress already has the ability to curtail agency-level regulators through legislation.

The REINS Act “is a solution in search of a problem,” said Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), because Congress already has the tools to review both major and non-major rules under the Congressional Review Act of 1996.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) replied: “We have found the problem: Excessive regulations,” he said. “We have determined the cost — $11,000 cost per American worker,” likely referring to a Nevada Policy Research Institute study that found regulations have that price tag for businesses employing between 20 and 499 people.

Regulations have a profound effect on small businesses, and therefore the overall economy, which is something regulators often fail to take into account, said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Democrats said opponents of regulations fail to take into account the benefits they provide to society.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) quoted a 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that reported regulations between the years 2000 to 2011 generated a net benefit of at least $70 billion.