After much anticipation, 2017 and the new legislative session of Congress are finally upon us, and I’m incredibly optimistic for what lies ahead. My fellow House Republicans and I plan to hit the ground running this year to move forward the conservative reforms we’ve spent the last year outlining despite the road blocks posed by a divided government under President Obama.
During the Obama presidency, we saw the size of our federal bureaucracy grow at an out-of-control pace – leaving us with tens of thousands of new regulations that infringe upon so many aspects of our everyday lives. This overreach is precisely why the House voted on two pieces of legislation – H.R. 21, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, and H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 – that would reverse this culture in the first week of the new session.
The Midnight Rules Relief Act would deter lame-duck Presidents from shuffling in last-minute regulations while creating an efficient, rapid-response method for any incoming Congress to express its disapproval and undo the damage. The REINS Act will check the overgrown power of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats and restore constitutional balance by requiring Congressional approval and the President’s signature for any major rules – ones that have an economic impact of $100 million or more.
While I’m grateful that the incoming Trump Administration will work with us to stop this regulatory onslaught, it is the job of Congress to write and implement laws. In this New Year, I’m confident we can make even bigger strides in getting important measures just like these finally signed into law. After all, the American people rose up in November and sent a powerful message: it's time for government to truly work for the people again.
After eight years of playing defense, we finally have a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress and in the White House. We will set the framework for a better America. We will deliver real results on everything from healthcare, to taxes, to national security, and much more. And we will prove that we are the party of opportunity.
So here's to 2017 and moving our country back in the right direction. I'm truly honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as the voice for the Tenth District in Washington. And I am ready to seize this tremendous opportunity to advance our shared conservative values now that we have a unified government. Thank you, and God Bless.
The Honorable Jody Hice represents Georgia’s 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee