Republicans have been running on a platform of regulatory reform for years. 2017 appears to be the year that this campaign promise will be realized. This is important for liberty loving Americans as the regulatory environment has violated the Checks and Balances that our Constitution originally established. Regulations remove power from Congress and give that power to unelected bureaucrats.
Costs of Regulations:
Most Americans do not understand the disastrous effect that regulations have upon this nation. Recently, the Phoenix Center conducted an Empirical Study on the cost of regulations. They determined that every federal regulator costs the private sector 135 jobs. They also determined that a 10% cut in the regulatory budget (pre-Obama levels) would provide an additional 1.2 Trillion in GDP.
List of Regulation Reforms:
Donald Trump has signed two executive orders on regulatory reform. First Trump signed an order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Then Trump signed an executive order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.
While the media scrutinizes everything that Trump does, the House has passed seven regulatory reform bills. All seven bills are now waiting for Senate approval. First, the House has passed H.R. 21 – Midnight Rules Relief Act by Rep. Darrell Issa. Second, they passed H.R. 26 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act by Rep. Doug Collins. Third, they passed H.R. 5 – Regulatory Accountability Act by Rep. Bob Goodlatte. Fourth, they passed H.R. 78 – SEC Regulatory Accountability Act by Rep. Ann Wagner. Fifth, they passed H.R. 998 – Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, by Rep. Jason Smith. Sixth, they passed H.R. 1009 – OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act by Rep. Paul Mitchell. Seventh, they passed H.R. 1004 – Regulatory Integrity Act by Rep. Tim Walberg.
Summary of Each Regulation Reform:
Trump’s Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs: This executive order simply requires federal agencies to remove two regulations for every regulation that they create. In order to ensure that agencies do not remove trivial rules while passing major rules, this order requires that the two rules removed must have a greater cost than the new rule. The cost of regulations will be determined by a formula to be produced by Mick Mulvaney.
Trump’s Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda: This executive order simply creates a watchdog in each federal agency. The watchdog is responsible for making sure that each agency is reducing regulations. The watchdog is also responsible for making sure that its agency is conducting retrospective reviews to eliminate burdensome regulations.
House Bill 21 – Midnight Rules Relief Act: This was the first bill passed by the 115th Congress. This bill amends the Congressional Review Act. The Congressional Review Act currently allows congress to reach back 60 legislative days to eliminate burdensome regulations. If the Senate passes House Bill 21 and the President signs it, Congress will be able to reach back an entire year.
House Bill 26 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act: The REINS Act is the first step in returning power from the bureaucrats to Congress. The REINS Act requires that every major regulation must be approved by Congress. If Congress does not approve the regulation within 70 days, the regulation is never enacted. This Act ensures that the people’s Representatives have a voice in the major regulations that govern them.
House Bill 5 – Regulatory Accountability Act: This Act sets up new standards for federal agencies in proposing new major regulations. Under this Act, agencies must publish advance notice. They also must consult with the Office of Information and Regulatory Reform (OIRA). Agencies must allow interested persons to be involved in the rule making process and the must hold hearings. The bill also creates new standards for the agency in based upon evidence and costs.
House Bill 78 – SEC Regulatory Accountability Act: This Act is focused only at the SEC. This Act requires that before the SEC issues a new regulation, they first have to publish the problem that the proposed regulation is supposed to solve. The Act also established a new standard for determining benefits versus costs. All future SEC regulations must ensure that there are no alternatives and that the regulations are consistent and written in plain language.
House Bill 998 – Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act: This Act creates a presidential commission which is to be in effect for five years. This commission is tasked with conducting retrospect reviews of every federal agency. The commission has broad subpoena powers and will hold hearings. This commission will make recommendations to Congress listing the regulations they believe need to be eliminated. Congress will then vote on whether they approve of the commission’s recommendation to eliminate the regulation. This Act also requires that all future regulations must be reviewed every 10 years to determine if the regulation is still necessary.
House Bill 1009 – OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act: OIRA has been responsible for reviewing major regulations since Clinton’s Executive Order 12866 in 1993. This bill codifies many of those responsibilities. This bill also creates a working group that receives advance notice of future major regulations.
House Bill 1004 – Regulatory Integrity Act: This bill basically requires federal agencies to keep the public aware of all regulations that they are considering. No longer will federal agencies be able to spend years working on a regulation and spring it upon the people once it is ready for public opinion. With this bill, Congress and the American people will know what federal regulators are working on and will have an idea when they can expect such regulations to be available for public comment.
Regulatory Freedom Amendment:
All these regulatory reforms are needed. Nonetheless, all these reforms are only reducing regulatory abuses. These reforms do not eliminate regulatory abuses. Our Founding Father’s separated from England because they did not approve of Parliament being able to pass laws without the people’s consent. Regulations do just that.
Regulations are passed by individuals who are not accountable to the people. This is why I support the Regulation Freedom Amendment. We must stop federal bureaucrats from passing regulations without our representatives having the opportunity to vote on the regulations. The Regulation Freedom Amendment has been endorsed by the RNC. We must preserve our liberties that our founding fathers bestowed upon us.
Requiring lawmakers to remove two regulations for every new regulation added is the greatest piece of legislation that I have ever heard of. Bravo!