NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

House Bill Would Rein In Regulators

July 27, 1999

The House passed a bill last night that would require future administrations to financially justify the regulations they adopt. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) described the bill as "the first step in restoring constitutional authority to the Congress, instead of ceding out lawmaking authority to Washington bureaucrats."

The Regulatory Right to Know Act passed the House by a 254-157 vote.

  • would require administrations to provide annual detailed reports to Congress on the costs and benefits of government regulations.
  • The president -- through the Office of Management and Budget -- would have to explain in detail how regulations affect consumer prices, public health and safety, as well as the environment, starting in 2001.
  • The OMB would also be required to find regulatory programs that overlap and make recommendations to reform ineffective programs.
  • An amendment to extend cost-benefit analysis to government subsidies to private corporations was   defeated 217-192, however.

The Rochester Institute of Technology's Thomas D. Hopkins testified before Congress in March that regulations burden taxpayers to the tune of $700 billion this year.

Democrats complained that the legislation would create an undue burden on an administration. They also argued that cost considerations cannot be put on intangibles like environmental protection.

Source: Audrey Hudson, "Regulating the Regulators," Washington Times, July 27, 1999.


Browse more articles on Government Issues