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Congressman Hank Johnson

Representing the 4th District of Georgia

Rep. Johnson Battles for Working Families, Against "Crony Capitalist" REINS Act on House Floor

January 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04), ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law (RRCAL), which exercises jurisdiction over regulatory and competition policy, spoke out against Republicans’ H.R. 26, the REINS Act, as an example of “corporate welfare” that would establish sweeping restrictions on new environmental and public health protections. 

[Watch Rep. Johnson speak from the House floor HERE]

“Congress should be working tirelessly across party lines to find solutions to persistent unemployment and stagnant wages, such as a public investment agenda that will increase productivity and domestic output while turning the page on our historic underinvestment in our nation’s roads, bridges, and educational institutions.” Johnson stated. “Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues refused to accept my amendment to the REINS Act, which would have preserved regulatory protections that increase employment, retention, and wages of workforce participants, especially those with significant barriers to employment, such as persons with disabilities or impoverished families.”

The REINS Act would require both houses of Congress to enact a joint resolution of approval within 70 legislative days prior to any major rule taking effect. Effectively, this would allow either house of Congress to block rules simply through inaction even when an existing statute required action. The bill would disempower every federal agency, effectively making their rulemaking activities mere recommendations to the Congress to act. It would neuter the current system’s reliance on science, expertise and public process in developing rules.

“The REINS Act is emblematic of the same tired, crony capitalist proposals that has been kicked around by opponents of environmental and public health protections since the 1980s,” said Johnson. “Following Republican attempts earlier this week to gut ethics and oversight rules that are necessary to police corruption, it is telling that the REINS Act is the first bill that the House will consider in the 115th Congress.”

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