One of my favorite regulatory reform ideas is an independent commission tasked with combing the 175,000-page Code of Federal Regulations and giving Congress a package of obsolete, redundant, or harmful regulations to repeal in one fell swoop. That idea is now captured in a bi-partisan bill in Congress. Wayne Crews and I wrote about it this week in The Washington Times:
The Regulatory Improvement Act of 2014, recently introduced by Reps. Patrick Murphy, Florida Democrat, and Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina Republican, and Sens. Angus S. King Jr., Maine independent, and Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, would create a Regulatory Improvement Commission to comb through the Code of Federal Regulations to identify ineffective and obsolete rules. The first time through the code, the commission would focus on a specific policy area — say, technology, agriculture or energy policy — with Congress reconvening the commission as needed going forward.
The commission would then submit to Congress a package of old rules to phase out, subject to an up-or-down vote, with no amendments allowed, in order to avoid vote-trading and backroom deals. To prevent stonewalling, Congress would be required to vote on the package within a set period of time — 30 days in committee, and 60 days after that for a floor vote, with debate time limited to 10 hours.