For too long, an ever-growing federal bureaucracy has piled regulations and red tape on the backs of the American people without any approval by Americans’ elected representatives.
So in each session of Congress since entering the U.S. Senate, I have introduced the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act to help put the power back in the people's hands instead of unelected bureaucrats.
This session, the bill is filed as S. 92, and 42 other senators have signed on in support!
And for the second Congress in a row, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) has approved the legislation, signing off on the bill during a business meeting on Wednesday and once again sending it to the Senate floor.
My bill would rein in unelected federal bureaucrats by requiring that Congress affirmatively approve every new “major rule” proposed by the Executive Branch before it can be enforced on the American people.
Currently, regulations ultimately take effect unless Congress specifically disapproves.
The bill defines a “major” rule as one that the Office of Management and Budget determines may result in 1.) an economic impact of $100 million or greater each year, 2.) “a major increase in costs or prices” for American consumers, government agencies, regions, or industries, or 3.) “significant adverse effects” on the economy.
The REINS Act reasserts Congress’ legislative authority and would continue the historic progress we have made under the Trump administration to curb the damaging effects of overreaching regulations.
I applaud the Committee for again taking action to advance this bill, and I urge the full Senate to pass it right away!
Dr. Rand Paul: "It's Time To Demilitarize the Police"
This week, before the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I joined with other senators to offer a bipartisan amendment based on my Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (filed in the Senate as S. 3931), legislation I have introduced several times with Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii).
Our amendment would have confronted the federal militarization of our local police departments by limiting the transfer of certain offensive military equipment, including grenade launchers, bayonets, and weaponized drones, from the Department of Defense to local police.
It would have done this without prohibiting the continued distribution of defensive equipment, such as body armor.
While our amendment received the support of a majority of the Senate, it unfortunately did not achieve the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle.
In an op-ed for Reason, I discussed why reform is so important.
"In a free society, citizens should be able to easily distinguish between civilian law enforcement tasked with keeping the peace in our communities and the armed forces tasked with protecting our country from foreign adversaries," I began.
"Unfortunately," I continued, "thanks to the federal government flooding our neighborhoods with billions of dollars of military equipment and property over the years, the line between peace officer and soldier of war has become increasingly blurry."
I went on to say that "[p]olice officers have an incredibly difficult and often thankless job where they lay their lives on the line every day. Without the rule of law, a civilized society cannot exist, and our officers deserve our gratitude. The horrific actions of a few bad actors should not erase all the good done by the vast majority of these brave and hardworking men and women."
"But," I noted, "as the federal government has enabled our local police to become more and more militarized, it has placed them in greater danger by eroding the community trust crucial to doing their jobs well."
In looking at the scope of the overall federal program, I stated that "[a]ccording to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which operates within the Department of Defense, 'More than $7.4 billion worth of property" has been transferred to law enforcement through the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) program. DLA also reveals that 'as of June 2020, there are around 8,200 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies from 49 states and four U.S. territories participating in the program.'"
In addition to the reforms on transfers I mentioned earlier, our amendment would have also increased the program's local transparency.
As I said in the piece, "It would also have ensured that communities are notified of requests and transfers by posted notices throughout the area and on a public website, and it would have required that a jurisdiction's governing body approves of the transfers."
I also reiterated my determination to keep working to advance the standalone Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.
"Our bipartisan approach takes seriously the idea that cops on the beat can only do their jobs well when they are well-known by their neighbors and trusted by their communities," I said.
"The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act will help build that relationship, making our citizens, police, and neighborhoods safer."
You can read my entire Reason op-ed HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Addresses Reckless Money Creation in Times of Crisis
In my latest op-ed for the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, I used the lens of a story to look at how pursuing the false "solution" of endless money creation during a crisis only leads to greater damage in the long run and puts our nation's future at risk.
The time came when the emperor decreed: "The people are in need; a plague is upon the land. I will give them money."
The people had been made to believe that paper was money. So, the emperor ordered that paper bearing the government insignia be printed and distributed to the people.
Now, the people had been trained to accept paper as money, but they still hung onto the belief that even paper money required work to be considered valuable.
But the emperor reassured them that paper is money backed by the full faith and credit of government (a.k.a. paper money has value because the government can always commandeer more of the people’s work).
You can read the rest HERE!
Dr. Rand Paul Meets with Kentuckians
This week, I met virtually with members of the Kentucky chapter of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (also referred to as the Big "I") to discuss the ongoing response to the pandemic.
Have an Issue or Concern?
If you are a Kentucky resident and need assistance with a federal agency or with navigating the federal response and ongoing community needs related to COVID-19, please feel free to contact my Bowling Green office at 270-782-8303. One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.
Kentucky has also set up a COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
Stay in Touch with Dr. Paul
Press release from Senator Rand Paul office.