NPCA submitted the following position to members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs ahead of a business meeting scheduled for May 17, 2017.
NPCA urges members of the committee to oppose S. 21 the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017. The REINS Act is a problematic bill that would significantly alter the regulatory landscape threatening critical protections for national parks and other undeniably valuable public resources while sacrificing transparent, public rulemaking processes.
Under the bill, no major regulation could take effect unless approved by both Chambers of Congress within a limited time. This would effectively move parts of the Executive Branch’s rulemaking authority to the legislative branch. Administrative agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency or Department of Interior conduct complex and lengthy rulemaking process that engage and review stakeholder comments, and evaluate a host of legal, scientific and technical issues. The rulemaking process works well and is a fundamental building block of our democratic structure.
Our parks belong to all Americans and benefit from agencies that prioritize their stewardship responsibilities, inform and receive input from the public, and develop regulations based on sound science that provides the best protections for national parks and other natural and cultural resources. The REINS Act short-changes the public and agency expertise.
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Former Deputy Vice President, Government Affairs