WASHINGTON – Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) recently introduced S. 2239, the Unnecessary Agency Regulations Act of 2021, a law that would require the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to identify new regulations each year that are obsolete, redundant, or burdensome, and to send Congress a list of such rules to consolidate or remove. The bill also requires Congress to actually act on those recommendations. The House version, H.R. 4132, was introduced this week by Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
CEI senior fellow Ryan Young said:
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, America needs both short-term recovery and long-term resilience. The Unnecessary Agency Regulations Act of 2021 contributes to both. In the short term, a regulatory housecleaning will help new businesses start up more smoothly, and help existing businesses hire employees and grow again. In the long run, regular pruning of redundant, obsolete, and burdensome rules will help keep agencies and businesses resilient against the next crisis.
“Trillions of dollars of politically motivated infrastructure and stimulus spending will not help the COVID recovery. It will simply take money away from some projects and put it into other projects instead. A deregulatory stimulus, of which this bill should be a part, would make it easier for people to create new opportunities and new wealth, without adding to the deficit.”
CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews said:
“As a hidden tax that rivals the explicit one we deal with every April 15, the burdens of federal regulation require far greater disclosure than is currently required and a mechanism to slow down the constant flow of new rules. Some 3,000 rules and regulations appear annually in the Federal Register, and, minus aberrations like former president Donald Trump’s one-in, two-out campaign, little or no rollback happens. One gauge of regulation we get, OMB’s Report to Congress on Regulatory Costs and Benefits, is chronically months or years late and hopelessly incomplete when it does show up. Another disclosure tool, the twice-yearly Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, ostensibly presents agency regulatory priorities but is non-binding. While administrative state supporters will inevitably fret that OMB lacks the necessary staff to identify redundant, burdensome and obsolete rules – let alone make recommendations regarding them in the Agenda. The Unnecessary Agency Regulations Act from Sen. Rick Scott points out what must be done in tomorrow’s amplified regulatory disclosure. If OMB cannot be allowed to suffer, neither can an over-regulated public. The solution is to reduce regulation, not ignore its volume as it flies by.”
More CEI resources on regulatory reform:
Inside Sources op-ed: How to Stimulate the Economy without Trillions in New Spending
CEI’s Agenda for Congress: Regulatory Reform