House Republicans will vote on legislation next week that would require the White House to analyze how major executive orders will affect prices across the U.S. economy before issuing those orders – an attempt to curb what the GOP says is President Biden’s habit of imposing costly rules that are fueling “devastating inflation.”
The bill, “Reduce Exacerbated Inflation Negatively Impacting the Nation Act,” or REIN IN Act, is sponsored by some of the top Republican leaders and committee chairmen in the 118th Congress. They include House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith of Missouri, Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer of Kentucky.
Those lawmakers say Biden’s orders are fueling inflation in the U.S., including the one he issued on the first day in office that revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit that former President Donald Trump had granted. That decision was estimated to cost thousands of jobs and several billions dollars in lost economic growth, and put inflationary pressures on energy prices.
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Another was an order Biden signed in late 2021 that requires the government to transition to buying electric-only vehicles over the next decade. Republicans say those orders and others that embrace “far-left climate policies” mean higher prices for Americans.
“Every hardworking family is forced to pay more for almost everything due to Joe Biden’s failed economic policies,” Stefanik said when she introduced the bill in January. “Instead of reversing course, Joe Biden and his administration have doubled down on their far-left tax-and-spend agenda that has continued to exacerbate this inflation crisis.”
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“The new Republican House majority is committed to honoring the promise we made to the American people to stop the reckless spending that ignited and continues to fuel inflation, which has risen 14.3 percent since President Biden took office,” Smith said when the bill was introduced in January.
Under the legislation, any executive order that has an annual fiscal effect of $1 billion or more would have to first be studied by the administration for its possible inflationary effects on the economy. That analysis would not have to be done when emergency assistance is given to states or if a presidential action is needed for national security reasons.
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One major action Biden took last year was to ask his Department of Education to start forgiving billions of dollars in student debt. But while Republicans cite that as another costly action that has a large effect on the economy, that decision was not an executive order and therefore does not appear to be something that would be covered under the GOP bill.
The House Rules Committee gave lawmakers until this Thursday to offer amendments to the legislation. That committee is expected to meet early next week to agree to the terms for debating and voting on the bill, and it is expected to set up the whole House to consider it when lawmakers return next week.