As most politically astute individuals know, President Trump has Doubled Down on Regulation Reform. First, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to remove two regulations for every regulation enacted. Trump then signed an Executive Order setting up a watchdog in each agency whose duty it is to make sure the federal agencies enact his regulatory reform.
Not to be outdone by the President, this week Congress passed H.R. 998. This bill is called the SCRUB Act (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome). This Act establishes a nine-member commission whose duty it is to hold hearings and find regulations that need to be removed. The commission is to be called The Retrospect Regulatory Review Commission. This commission is to be in existence for five years.
The Retrospect Regulatory Review Commission will hold hearings. It will have broad subpoena powers. Most importantly, anyone will have the ability to recommend to the commission a regulation that they want the commission to review. The federal agencies must cooperate with the commission. Agencies must give the commission what it needs to review and hold hearings.
This commission will work very closely with the director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA is an office in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mick Mulvaney is the director of OMB. At this time, we are still waiting to hear who Trump will appoint as the director of OIRA.
This commission notifies Congress of the regulations that should be repealed. Congress will then vote to approve the commission’s recommendation to repeal the regulation. If a joint resolution is passed by the House and Senate, the regulation is repealed. If passed by a Joint Resolution, no similar regulation may ever be passed by the federal agency again without permission by Congress.
The Speaker of the House, the Minority Leader of the House, the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader will each submit to the President a list of potential names to sit on the commission. The President will select two names from each list and he will appoint the chair. This commission is then confirmed by the Senate.
The SCRUB Act still needs to pass the Senate before Trump will have the opportunity to sign this important regulatory reform. In my opinion, the SCRUB Act is needed because it creates an outside entity to do a retrospective review on our current regulatory mess.
In 2011, President Obama recognized the need for a retrospect review of current regulations so he signed an Executive Order. The federal agencies removed only 70 significant rules in five years as a part of this retrospect review. The federal agencies have proven that they are more concerned about writing rules and expanding their power then reviewing their rules and removing burdensome regulations.
Another important aspect of the SCRUB Act is regulatory reform on future regulations. This Act requires that all future regulation must be reviewed every 10 years to determine if they are still necessary. This requires federal agencies to regularly return to their regulations and receive public input.
As a liberty conservative, I typically am not in favor of commissions. I see government commissions as cushy jobs for former politicians so that they can collect nice paychecks for doing little work. However, I think I will make an exception for this commission. I am making an exception because the commission has a limited five-year term. I support Trump’s concept of a watchdog in every federal agency. However, these watchdogs need some outside help. This commission can give the watchdogs the outside help that they need.
I believe that this commission can run public hearings that will educate the American people on the disastrous effect that regulations have had upon our nation. President Trump will select the chairman of this commission. I am sure Trump will select someone who has a desire to reduce the size of the federal bureaucracy. These reform efforts should relieve this nation from many of the chains that regulations have placed upon the freedoms of this nation.
Congress recognizes that Trump promised regulatory reform. Congress is producing legislation that will coincide with Trump’s efforts to ensure that regulatory reform becomes a reality.