How to Reform Federal Regulations
December 8, 2014
New federal regulations cost Americans an additional $112 billion in 2013 and required more than 150 million additional hours of paperwork to comply. With a new Congress convening in January, how can lawmakers tackle regulatory reform? Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum offers a few suggestions:
- Require independent agencies to conduct cost-benefit analyses of new regulations. Currently, "independent agencies" (including the Securities and Exchange Commission) are not required by law to engage in the same cost-benefit analysis as other agencies.
- Require agencies to engage in "retrospective review" -- periodically reviewing and assessing existing federal regulations that are already on the books.
- When passing legislation, include guidelines that limit agencies' rulemaking ability, such as limiting the number of new rules that can be passed or requiring that new regulations be reviewed after implementation.
- Use the Congressional Review Act -- which allows Congress to review regulations and repeal them with a vote -- to invalidate costly and inefficient regulations, or use Congress' appropriations power to deny funding to new regulatory initiatives.
Batkins encourages the new Congress to engage in regulatory reform and work with the President to pass new legislation aimed at improving the rulemaking process.
Source: Sam Batkins, "How the New Congress Can Address Regulation," American Action Forum, December 3, 2014.
Browse more articles on Government Issues