Thursday, January 5, 2017

REINS on the Presidency

Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a bunch of awful thing, including trying to push through an ACA repeal and defunding of Planned Parenthood. But one thing flew a bit under the radar in all of that. He cited the REINS Act, a bill which passed the House back over the summer.

The goal of the REINS Act is explicit and problematic: to completely hobble the executive branch before Obama leaves office and cut the power of Cabinet offices. It's a complete power grab by Congress. The Act would require all major regulations put forward by Cabinet departments to require congressional approval (whereas Congress can currently reject regulations with a vote). This means things like the Title X protections for Planned Parenthood or education reforms would all require Congressional signoff - making them virtually impossible.

This is a problem. Make no mistake - this is not a well-intentioned checks-and-balances test by Congress. It is a political power grab against the first black President and its intention is to strip away the powers of executive branches run by an opposing party - a direct threat to our constitutional democracy. Be warned.

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