Stop the laws! In this episode, learn the details of three bills that passed the House of Representatives in January which would make enforcing laws more difficult for Federal agencies.
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Bills Highlighted in This Episode
H.R. 1155: Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2016 (SCRUB Act)”
Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission
- Establishes a new five-year commission that will review government rules to determine which ones should be eliminated “to reduce the costs of regulation to the economy.”
- The Chairman will be appointed by the President and must have “experience in rulemaking”. The other eight members will come from lists created by the majority and minority leaders in Congress of “individuals learned in rulemaking”.
- The commission will have subpoena power and “the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence may be required from any place within the United Stats at any designated place of hearing within the United States.”
- The bill appropriates $30 million which are available until expended.
- The commission members will be paid, and will be given travel expenses including a per deim.
- The commission will hire staff, who will also be paid.
- The commission can hire “experts or consultants”, and may “lease space and acquire personal property” “to the extent funds are available”
- The commission will review the Code of Federal Regulations to find rules “that should be repealed to lower the cost of regulation to the economy”.
- Priority will be given to “major rules” which have been in effect more than 15 years, impose paperwork burdens” which could be reduced without “significantly diminishing” regulatory effectiveness.
- Goal is to reduce the cost of Federal regulations by 15% with a “minimal reduction” in the effectiveness of the regulations.
- Criteria for recommending repeal
- Whether the rule achieved its purpose and could be repealed without “significant” recurrence of adverse effects
- If technology, time, economic conditions, market practices, or “other relevant factors” have rendered the rule obsolete.
- If the rule is ineffective
- If the rule has “excessive compliance costs” or “is otherwise excessively burdensome”, as compared to rules that give goals instead of orders and “give economic incentives to encourage desired behavior”
- If the rule “inhibits innovation in or growth of the United States economy“
- If the rule “harms competition” of entities based in the United States
- “Such other criteria as the Commission devises…”
- Repeal procedure
- If Congress passes a joint resolution approving the Commission’s repeal suggestions, the Federal agencies will have to repeal the rules within 60 days of the joint resolution’s enactment.
- Repealed rules can not be reissued without a new law enacted
- All records of public meetings and hearings will be published on the Commission’s website within 1 week,
- When an agency makes a new rule, they have to repeal a rule recommended by Commission so that costs of enforcement offset each other, but the agency must have a net reduction in costs
- Passed the House of Representatives 245-174
- There is an identical bill in the Senate: S. 1683
- President Obama issued a veto threat
- Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri’s 8th district
H.R. 712: Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act
H.R. 712 is a combination of three bills: The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, the All Economic Regulations are Transparent Act, and the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act.
Title 1: Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements
- Any agency that is challenged by a private company on a regulation must publish the complaint online within 15 days.
- The suit can not be dismissed until after the complaint is published online and there is a public comment period.
- The agency much have a public comment period before settling cases and must respond to every comment received.
- A court can not approve of consent decree that doesn’t “allow sufficient time and incorporate adequate procedures” for the agency to comply with all administrative rule making procedures and any Executive order that governs rulemaking.
Title II: All Economic Regulations are Transparent Act
- Makes every Federal agency submit monthly reports) on the status of every rule they are working on.
- Rules can’t go into effect) until they have been published on the Internet for at least 6 months. Exemption for national security, emergencies, or implementing international trade agreements.
- Requires the first report to include cost-benefit analysis for all proposed or final rules for the 10 years) before the enactment of this law. The agencies will have 30 days to complete this report.
Title III: Providing Accountability Through Transparency
- Requires agencies to publish summaries of their regulations on the Internet, capped at 100 words.
- Passed the House of Representatives 244-173
- Five members of the House of Representatives own Berkshire Hathaway stock and voted “Aye” on H.R. 712
- There is an identical bill in the Senate: S. 378
H.R. 1644: Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act (STREAM Act)
Publication of Science Used to Create Rules
- The Secretary of the Interior would have to publicly publish on the Internet all the scientific data, environmental analysis, economic assessments, policies or guidances used in developing a new rule 90 days before before the new rule or draft of a rule is published.
- If the research is not published on the Internet 90 days before a rule or draft’s publication, the rule cannot move forward for 60 days plus the number of days the research publication was delayed.
- If the publication of research data is delayed by 6 months, the Secretary must withdraw the rule unless that would cause “imminent and sever threat to human life”.
Study Which Delays Regulations
- A study on the regulatory effectiveness of the Stream Buffer Rule must be completed within two years and 90 days of this bill’s enactment.
- The Secretary of the Interior can not issue any new rules or regulations related to the stream buffer zone rule until one year after the study is submitted.
- Passed the House of Representatives 235-188
Congressional Budget Office Reports
- Analysis of H.R. 1155, SCRUB Act of 2015, May 8, 2015.
- Analysis of H.R. 712, Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015, April 16, 2015.
- Analysis of H.R. 1644, STREAM Act, September 23, 2015.
Sound Clip Sources
- Hearing: Markup of H.R. 348, H.R. 712, H.R. 1155, H.R. 690, and H.R. 889, House Judiciary Committee, March 24, 2015.
- Television show: 60 Minutes: King of Coal, CBS, March 6, 2016.
- Article: House Clears Two Bills to Rein in Regulators by Charles Clark, Government Executive, January 8, 2016.
- Article: 5 years after a deadly coal mine disaster, what’s changed by Mason Adams, Grist, April 3, 2015.
Music Presented in This Episode
Design by Only Child Imaginations