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How to Reform Never-Needed Regulations - and How to Keep Them That Way

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Policymakers have waived more than 600 regulations as part of the COVID-19 response. Federal agencies lifted rules against telemedicine and remote education.

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval process, which often takes more than a decade, will likely take only some months for coronavirus treatments. State and local governments have lifted rules against restaurant deliveries and all sorts of permit regulations that were preventing people from working while under lockdown.

If regulations such as these were not needed during a crisis, they were probably never needed in the first place.

There are many more such rules. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is more than 185,000 pages long. Federal agencies finalize about 3,000 new rules every year. State and local governments have their rules, too.

Policymakers are doing the right thing by getting rid of never-needed regulations — but that is not enough. They must reform the rulemaking system itself. Otherwise, it will continue to generate harmful rules that will harm the next crisis response.

Two reforms would be especially helpful.

To pare down the stock of existing rules, an independent regulatory reduction commission should comb through the CFR and send Congress a reform package each year for it to vote on. To treat the flow of new rules, each new regulation should automatically sunset after no more than 10 years.

The commission idea has been tried before, and it worked.

Read the full article at Inside Sources.