Rand Paul’s REINS Act has passed an important hurdle, winning a committee vote and moving to the full Senate for consideration.

Under the REINS Act, any proposed “major rule” must be passed by both chambers of Congress in a stand-alone, recorded vote and then be signed by the president.

“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,” said Paul.

“The REINS Act reasserts Congress’ legislative authority and would continue the historic progress we have made this year to curb the damaging effects of overreaching regulations.”

The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) passed S. 21, the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny” (REINS) Act last week, sending the legislation to the Senate floor.

A “major rule” is defined as any federal rule or regulation that may result in 1.) an annual economic impact of $100 million or more, 2.) a major increase in costs or prices for American consumers, or 3.) significant adverse effects on the economy.

Currently, federal agencies can make up and enforce their own major rules, even if Congress opposes the regulation.

That was the case with the “Waters of the United States” rule.

The EPA rule passed in 2015 redefined the term “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act, radically expanding the Act’s jurisdiction from navigable waters such as rivers and lakes – to gullies, ditches and intermittent puddles.

The redefinition had been proposed as legislation for 30 years, but failed to win the support of even Democrat-controlled Congresses.

So the Obama administration used the unchecked power of the regulatory state to take the failed bill and impose it as a major rule.

In January, the U.S. House passed Rep. Doug Collins’ (GA) companion legislation, H.R. 26, by a vote of 237-187.

But Democrats have a plan to save regulation without representation and maintain a massive federal government that imposes laws without the consent or support of Congress.

Radical leftist groups such as The Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters are planning to use the Senate filibuster to prevent consideration of the majority-supported bill.

With 48 senators in the Democrat caucus, Republicans would need to convince eight to cross party lines and vote to end debate and allow consideration of Paul’s bill.

Which Democrat Senators could thwart the plan by opposing a filibuster?

Of the 46 Democrats in the Senate, 23 are up for re-election in 2018.  Additionally, both independent senators, who caucus with Democrats, are up as well.

Of those 23 Democrats, ten represent states won by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election: Florida’s Bill Nelson, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, Montana’s Jon Tester, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin.

All ten are running for re-election.

Intense public pressure on these ten could prompt eight to break from their party to allow a vote on the REINS Act, even if they then mollify their liberal base by voting against the bill.

Liberal groups are united in their opposition to the REINS Act, with labor unions and environmental groups – two of the biggest source of Democrat campaign contributions – leading the charge.

That leaves conservative groups with a massive task.

Passage of the REINS Act would eliminate a major tool liberals use to impose their agenda.

Without the ability to impose by regulation what they can’t win in an election or legislative session, liberalism would be crippled.

The question now is whether conservatives will step up and make it clear to these 10 Democrats that blocking a vote on the REINS Act will be an act of obstruction for which they will pay a political price in 18 months.