The Chatter: Davis' REINS Act passes 241-184, plus Massey's ex-CEO now mining in KY

12/08/2011 07:26 AM

The U.S. House on Wednesday approved a bill that would require a congressional stamp of approval for executive branch agencies to issue major new regulations — a measure sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis of Hebron.

Davis, who called the bill the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny” or REINS Act, said the idea came from a constituent who wanted to know why Congress didn’t have a say on new regulations that essentially created new policies.

“This is an abdication of Congress’ constitutional responsibility to write the laws,” Davis said in his floor speech Thursday afternoon.

The bill passed 241-184 mostly along party lines. The bill received four Democratic votes. Neither of Kentucky’s Democratic congressmen supported it.

Congressional Republicans criticized regulations — specifically environmental rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — for being burdensome to businesses.

While Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul has co-sponsored a version of the measure in the Senate, it faces much longer odds in that chamber, which is controlled by Democrats.

Paul pledged in a statement last night after the House passage that he would “continue to work tirelessly to see its passage.”

Controversial mine owner starts company in Kentucky

The former head of Massey Energy, which ran the West Virginia mine in which 29 miners were killed in 2010, has opened a new company based out of Belfry, Ky., the Courier-Journal’s James Carroll and Tom Loftus reported.

Don Blankenship, the former Massey CEO, created McCoy Energy Co, Inc. in January.

U.S. regulators didn’t comment to the paper. But California Congressman George Miller criticized the development in a floor speech Wednesday.


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