Lawmakers Vote to Rein in Gov't Regulations

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House Republicans voted Thursday to give Congress the power to approve or reject major federal regulations with a bill known as the "Reins Act."

The legislation would allow Congress to make decisions on proposals with a potential economic impact of more than $100 million.

The massive amount of federal rules are what the GOP calls "job killers."

The regulations often come in the form of executive orders on everything from health care to environmental regulations.

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., said in 2011, President Obama and his administration created 71,000 pages of new regulations.

Republicans charge that these rules often prevent companies from expanding or hiring workers.

"The American people today have been hit by an onslaught of unnecessary federal regulations," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who heads the Judiciary Committee.

"From the Obama administration's health care mandate to the increase of burdens on small businesses, government regulation has become a barrier to economic growth and job creation," he added.

Democrats contend that the Reins Act would give Congress too much power.

"The mother of all anti-regulatory bills," opponent Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., called the measure.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked why a Congress with a 9 percent approval rating in some polls should be entrusted with these new powers.

The Democrat-controlled Senate is not expected to schedule the bill for a vote. White House advisers say it would be vetoed if it did reach the president's desk.

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