REINS Would Delay Even Life-Saving Rules with Broad Support

This week, I'll be providing examples of past regulations that would have fallen under H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS), a bill expected to move quickly through the House this year. The REINS Act would require Congressional approval for all major rules – a terrible move that could delay or kill new environmental, health, and safety protections.

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This is What Happens When You Extend Unpaid-For Tax Cuts

'Martha's polishing the brass on the titanic.  It's all going down man...'

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – Congress' nonpartisan fiscal scorekeeper – released their revised budget and economic outlook for fiscal year (FY) 2011 through FY 2021. The most newsworthy element of the new estimates is this year's revised deficit projection. As most media outlets noted, Uncle Sam's predicted budgetary shortfall for 2011 went from just over $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. Extension of the unpaid-for Bush tax cuts comprises almost the entire additional shortfall.

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Reforming the Rulemaking Process Requires More than New Technology

The three ideas for reforming participation in the rulemaking process in Beth’s Noveck's blog post, "Turning Rule Writers Into Problem Solvers: Creating a 21st Century Government That's Open and Competent by Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review," may or may not be useful. They certainly can and should be tested empirically. But the focus on these participation issues must be complemented by reform of the rulemaking process itself.

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First OMB PAYGO Scorecard Puts Congress $64 Billion in the Black. Wait, What?

Good news everyone! In 2010, according to a recent accounting by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the bills Congress passed reduced the deficit by $64 billion over the next ten years. Surprised? Thought this past year featured massive deficit-financed bills? That’s because the scorecard, which OMB keeps as part of statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), does not include hundreds of billions in spending. Congress essentially told OMB to ignore a few key pieces of legislation, which, if included in the calculation, would bring the year’s cost to $820 billion over ten years.

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SOTU Budget and Economy Reactions

Here are a few clips from insightful commentaries on the president's State of the Union Address on what President Obama had to say about the federal budget and the economy.

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Will State of the Union Mark Tonal Shift for Obama on Regulation?

What a difference a week makes. Last Tuesday, Jan. 18, President Obama took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to complain about federal regulation, adopting the conservative mantra that regulation is largely a nuisance and can impair job growth. Last night, in his Jan. 25 State of the Union address, Obama took a decidedly different tone. He began by implying that regulations are nothing but a hindrance to businesses. But just as quickly as my blood began to boil, it came down to a simmer. Obama followed by recommitting himself to the importance of public protections, citing consumer, labor, and environmental regulations as critical governmental contributions to society.

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Fox News Health Care Reform 'Calculator' Spits Out Nonsense

Introducing Texas Instrument's new TI-Propaganda

How much will implementation of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) provisions cost you as a taxpayer? If you want an accurate number, don't look to Fox News. Nick Kasprak over at the Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog recently provided a thorough takedown of the news organization's new health care reform "calculator", which is replete with faulty methodology, spelling errors, and meaningless graphics.

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Administration Looks to Build New Participation Website

A government proposal would develop a new public participation website, with the working title "ExpertNet." OMB Watch filed comments responding to a request for information on the proposal from the General Services Administration, the White House Open Government Initiative and the Office of Management and Budget.

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After 222 Years, Turns Out the Constitution is Deficient

During a hearing debating the merits of H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, majority witness and former Congressman David McIntosh, discussing the REINS Act’s goal of sending regulations that implement law back through Congress, commented, “…and so in many ways what the bill does is correct a constitutional deficiency.”

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House to Make Anti-Regulatory Bill an Early Priority

Rep. Geoff Davis has introduced a bill that would require Congressional approval of all major rules, a potentially fatal blow to some of the most important safeguards to our health, safety, environment, and economy.

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