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The RAA and REINS Act could impact federal agencies' ability to impose regulations affecting food safety, among other issues that affect Americans.

The RAA and REINS Act could impact federal agencies' ability to impose regulations affecting food safety, among other issues that affect Americans. (Photo: Oregon Department of Agriculture/Flickr/cc)

Moms' Group Sounds Alarm Over Worst GOP Bill "You've Never Heard Of"

"From car safety to clean air and water, Congress is threatening these lifesaving standards."

Julia Conley

The environmental group Clean Air Moms Action released a new ad campaign Monday urging voters to fight back against two pending  Republican anti-regulation laws.

The ad is being run in five states where Democratic incumbent senators will be up for re-election in highly-anticipated races in 2018. It features car safety advocate Janette Fennell, who shares a personal story of how an automobile regulation could have saved her life if it had been in place when she needed it—the kind of regulation that could be at risk if Congress passes the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.

Watch:

The RAA and REINS Act were both passed by the House earlier this year, and the Senate may vote after Congress returns from its August recess.

The RAA would impose strict new rules on federal agencies trying to introduce new regulations aimed at everything from food safety to clean air and water. Agencies would be required to hold "adversarial hearings" as they consider potential regulations, allowing corporations that would be affected to weigh in on the proposed rules, and to impose the cheapest regulations possible for corporations.

The REINS Act would require Congressional approval for any regulation that would cost affected corporations more than $100 million per year.

Both measures were passed under the pretense of protecting corporations from rampant, costly deregulation, but critics including Clean Air Moms Action say it would make it harder for federal agencies to protect Americans. The political organizing group Indivisible calls the RAA "the worst bill you've never heard of" and warns that Republicans have been trying to quietly push the bill through Congress "under the guise of a 'harmless' procedural change."

Of the REINS Act, the Center for American Progress wrote earlier this year that the proposed law "subordinates the agency rulemaking process—which is governed by expertise, transparency, and stakeholder outreach—to the whims of a wildly unpopular Congress and the well-heeled lobbyists roaming its halls."


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