Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Good governance requires strong oversight. The Framers of the Constitution understood that. Unfortunately, under Harry Reid’s watch, the Senate has provided little of that in recent years.

This lack of accountability has allowed the President to circumvent Congress to push an agenda that runs counter to the needs and wants of the American people through his abuse of executive order authority.

Small-business owners across Arkansas routinely tell me the biggest problem they face in today’s economy is compliance with countless, confusing regulations put forth unilaterally by the Obama Administration on a regular basis.

This Administration, like no other in recent years, has abused the regulatory process.  It has proposed thousands of new rules that add up to a combined price tag in the trillions. Compliance costs of these regulations are the equivalent of a wet blanket on the economy, taking resources from employers that should be devoted toward job creation.

The REINS Act, Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) bill, which I am cosponsoring, would serve as a check for the Administration’s regulatory binge. It will require Congressional approval, by joint resolution, of any federal rule that would cost the economy $100 million or more. Once major rules are drafted, they must be approved by both chambers of Congress and then signed by the President, satisfying the Constitutional requirements that currently are being subverted.

By passing the REINS Act, the American people will have a voice on these massive regulatory proposals through their elected officials. They will have the final say on whether or not these rules are the right course for the future. 

I’m cosponsoring another bill authored by Senator Paul that seeks to achieve the same end goal, but takes-on a different area of government in desperate need of oversight—the Federal Reserve.

There is a shocking lack of transparency when it comes to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy deliberations. The Fed is essentially the nation’s central bank, yet somehow its practices are exempt from Government Accountability Office audits.

Just as the American people have a right to weigh in the President’s rules, they have a right to know how their nation’s monetary policy is being managed—or manipulated. The Audit the Fed bill would lift the veil of secrecy from the Federal Reserve, exposing monetary policy discussions and decisions to a Congressional audit.

With new leadership in the Senate, Congress finally has a chance to exercise much needed oversight and bring Washington’s actions out of the shadows.