Posts Tagged ‘Geoff Davis’
July 25th, 2012 at 5:55 pm
REINS Act Gets New Champion

The important reform bill, the Regulations of the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, is getting new champion with the retirement of Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY).

From an emailed press release announcing the change:

“Todd Young is one of the hardest-working and most diligent new members of Congress.  He has enthusiastically championed the REINS Act at home and in Washington,” said Congressman Davis.  “Congress has excessively delegated its constitutional responsibility for making the law of the land to unelected bureaucrats for too long.  The REINS Act is one of the most important structural reforms to restore this accountability.  I am confident that Congressman Young will be a tireless champion for the REINS Act going forward.”

Calling Young “tireless” is a good word choice.  According to the Congressman’s official bio, he put himself through night school to get an MBA from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Indiana.  Prior to that, he enlisted in the Navy en route to securing an appointment to that branch’s academy.

Young will need that doggedness to pass the REINS ACT into law.

Currently, there is no congressional oversight of bureaucratic “major rules” costing the economy $100 million a year or more in compliance costs.  The REINS Act would change that by requiring administrative agencies to submit proposed major rules to Congress for an up-or-down vote in both chambers before becoming law.  The aim is to stop rogue agencies like EPA or HHS from legislating through rulemaking what they can’t get Congress to pass through the normal lawmaking process.

What are Young’s prospects?  This year, Rep. Davis convinced the GOP-dominated House to pass the bill, but like every House reform, the REINS Act died from inaction in the Democratic Senate.  But if after the November elections the GOP can hold the House and gain the Senate with conservative reformers – or Republican incumbents scared straight by conservative primary challengers – then expect to see the REINS Act make great strides towards passage.

Our constitutional system needs Congress to get back in the game on regulation, if for no other reason than to reestablish accountability between the laws that govern us and the people we elect to pass them.

Good on Davis for picking Young to succeed him.  Now voters in the several states need to send another crop of conservative reformers to the Senate to help him out.

May 22nd, 2012 at 12:28 pm
To Get More Federal Money, States Claiming Volunteer Organizations are a Form of Welfare Spending
Posted by Print

One of the great triumphs of the federal welfare reform legislation passed in the mid-1990s was an insistence that states lay down tough work requirements for welfare recipients as a condition of receiving federal assistance. Though the fact is little publicized, however, another provision of the law allows states to substitute increased welfare spending for the work requirements and still receive money from Washington. That, of course, is an invitation to mischief, as reported by CNSnews, quoting Congressman Geoff Davis

“Many States have scoured their budgets to find other current program spending–such as for Pre-K, child care, and after school programs–they could report as TANF [welfare] spending,” Davis said at a hearing on Thursday. “Others began counting third-party spending–such as assistance offered by food banks and Boys and Girls clubs–as TANF spending.  One State even apparently found a way to count the value of volunteer hours by Girl Scout troop leaders as State TANF ‘spending.’

This is, by the way, all entirely legal under the law as written.

This is a worthwhile reminder: even legislation as noble as federal welfare reform is only as strong as those charged with carrying it out. The right laws are deeply important. But so are the right lawmakers.

October 28th, 2011 at 6:51 pm
REINS Act Moving Forward

Previously, I’ve written about the need to pass the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY).  If passed, the bill would require all new bureaucratic rules costing $100 million or more to have an up-or-down, standalone vote in Congress, plus the President’s signature before going into effect.

The main purpose of the REINS Act is to give Congress a check on the administrative state so that job-killing regulations get a chance to be eliminated before going into effect.

This is yet another example giving the lie to President Obama’s charge of a do-nothing Congress, the House majority continues to move bills that will help the economy.  The House Judiciary Committee reported the bill favorably yesterday.  Here’s hoping it gets fast-tracked for a full House vote soon.