Letter to Senators: REINS Act

March 14, 2017

March 14, 2017

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of members and supporters, we strongly urge you to oppose S. 21, the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017,” scheduled for markup on March 15, 2015, in the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The REINS Act, which has never been subject of a hearing in the Senate, is an extraordinarily extreme measure that would effectively make it impossible to protect the public by shutting down the entire regulatory system.

Under the bill, no major regulation could take effect unless it is approved by both houses of Congress within a limited period of time. This would effectively amend every existing regulatory statute – including bedrock laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act – and neuter them. The regulatory system would return to what it was in the age of the robber barons with no federal agency able to use its technical and scientific expertise to protect the public. Either house of Congress could kill any future safeguard simply by failing to act.

The public expects the government to be able to protect it from toxins in food, consumer products, air and water. The REINS Act would make that virtually impossible. It would amount to a coup by ideologues and special interests that have been unable to block safeguards through normal legislative and constitutional processes.

If you think you might ever protect your constituents from dirty air or water, drinking water contamination, disease spread by food, lead in toys, predatory banking practices or any known or yet unforeseen threat, you need to vote against the REINS Act. The Act would simply be the most fundamental step away from protecting the public in U.S. history.


Alaska Wilderness League

American Association of University Women

Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

BlueGreen Alliance

Bold Alliance

Cahaba River Society

Center for Biological Diversity

Charles River Watershed Association

Clean Air Task Force

Clean Water Action

Climate Hawks Vote

Communications Workers of America

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

Connecticut League of Conservation Voters

Defenders of Wildlife

Earth Action, Inc.



Elders Climate Action

Endangered Habitats League

Environment America

Environmental Advocates of New York

Friends of Alewife Reservation

Friends of the Earth


Geos Institute

Green For All


Greenpeace USA

Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Interfaith Power & Light

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light

League of Conservation Voters

League of Women Voters of the United States

Long Island Pine Barrens Society

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, Inc.

Main Street Alliance

Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Montana Conservation Voters

Montana Environmental Information Center

National Council of Jewish Women

National Health Law Program, Inc.

Natural Resources Defense Council

Nevada Conservation League

NextGen Climate

Nor'East Chapter of Trout Unlimited (MA)

Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Futures Society


Physicians for Social Responsibility

Physicians for Social Responsibility, Philadelphia

Population Connection Action Fund

Prairie Rivers Network

Rachel Carson Council

Safe Climate Campaign

San Juan Citizens Alliance

Save The River Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper

Sierra Club

Southern Environmental Law Center

Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Students for a Just and Stable Future

The Praxis Project

The Vet Voice Founation

The Wilderness Society

Virginia League of Conservation Voters

Voces Verdes

Voices for Progress

Western Organization of Resource Councils

Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Capitol building reflected at night. Photo credit: Orhan Cam / Shutterstock