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The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills in bipartisan votes that will help reform the regulatory process. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 367) passed 232-183 on Aug. 2 and the Energy Consumers Relief Act (H.R. 1582) passed 232-181 on Aug. 1.

The REINS Act would require Congress to pass a joint resolution of approval before any new major rule is issued. H.R. 1582 would protect construction industry supply chains and preserve thousands of jobs that could otherwise be placed at risk as a result of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.

ABC sent letters to members of the House before both votes supporting the legislation. 

“For the construction industry, unjustified and unnecessary regulations translate to higher costs, which are then passed along to the consumer or lead to construction projects being priced out of the market,” ABC wrote in the letter on the REINS Act

ABC also noted that the full impact and outcomes of several federal regulations proposed by the Obama administration are currently unclear, creating an environment of uncertainty in the construction industry that makes it difficult for firms to adequately plan for the future. In 2012 alone, the federal government imposed or proposed $236.7 billion in new regulatory costs, bringing the administration’s first term total to $518 billion. In addition, the administration’s most recent agenda lists anticipated rules that will add another $123.2 billion.

In the letter regarding the Energy Consumers Relief Act, ABC offered its support because the bill would require EPA to submit to Congress a report detailing costs and job impacts before finalizing any energy-regulating rule that the agency estimates would cost more than $1 billion. The bill also would prohibit EPA from finalizing a rule if the U.S. Department of Energy determines that "significant adverse effects to the economy will be caused."