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(22,666 posts)
Mon Nov 16, 2015, 09:13 AM Nov 2015

The Little-Noticed Conservative Plan To Permanently Lock Democrats Out Of Policymaking [View all]

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Ultimately, however, these are very modest successes in comparison to the bold proposals offered at the Federalist Society. Take the REINS Act, for example, which would automatically invalidate any new regulation that impacts more than 0.0006 percent of the nation’s economy unless this regulation is approved by Congress “by the end of 70 session days or legislative days.” Given congressional dysfunction, this bill would likely shut down many new federal rules entirely — regardless of whether those new rules expand the scope of federal regulation, update an existing regulation in light of new technological or other developments, or even if the new rule repeals an existing regulation entirely.

As a practical matter, however, REINS and similar proposals would likely effect a massive shift in power from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Much of our electoral system, at the moment, places a thumb on the scale in favor of Republicans. The GOP-controlled Supreme Court gave state lawmakers more leeway to enact voter suppression laws than they have enjoyed since Jim Crow. U.S. House districts tend to favor Republicans because Democrats tend to cluster in cities where they are concentrated into relatively few congressional districts. These geographic factors are then exacerbated by partisan gerrymandering, which also give Republicans a significant advantage in many key states.

Indeed, in 2012, ThinkProgress estimated that Democrats would have needed to win the national popular vote in all U.S. House races by 7.25 percentage points in order to eek out a bare majority in Congress’s lower chamber.

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