NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Reforming the Regulatory State

February 3, 2015

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has issued a new report with suggestions for the 114th Congress. The report is aimed at economic growth and touches on everything from finance reform to labor law. Also included in their recommendations is regulatory reform, with the group calling for Congress to rein in executive power and limit regulatory costs and burdens.

Regulations are no small matter - they're expensive, and they're burdensome:

  • According to the Office of Management and Budget, annual regulatory costs reached $102 billion in 2013.
  • Additionally, regulations cost Americans 9 billion hours of paperwork in order to comply.

But the Competitive Enterprise Institute says the figure is much higher, with $1.882 trillion in annual regulatory costs. Why the difference? CEI says there are countless regulatory impacts that are not measured by traditional estimates.

CEI calls for more legislative branch oversight over federal agencies. One if its suggestions is that Congress pass the REINS Act, which would require Congress to approve new "major" regulations (those with $100 million or more in annual costs). Because some regulations do not contain cost estimates, CEI suggests expanding the REINS Act to cover more than just major rules.

Additionally, the group calls for creating a publicly-available document that details regulatory impacts and costs. While much of this information is available, it is often found in different places and can be confusing. By summarizing regulatory information into a single report, the public could more easily understand regulatory impacts and the workings of federal agencies.

Source: "Free to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress," Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 2015. 


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