New Study Provides “How-To” Guide for Regulatory Reform

Washington, DC, February 29, 2000 –A new report released today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) called for congressional approval of all major regulations and for boosting regulatory cost disclosure. Jump, Jive an’ Reform Regulation: How Washington Can Take a Swing at Regulatory Reform dismisses cost-benefit analysis as being incapable of bringing the largely unaccountable regulatory state under congressional control.

“Enhancing congressional accountability and improving cost disclosure matter most to any regulatory reform effort,” explained study author Wayne Crews, Director of Competition and Regulatory Policy at CEI. “Effective regulatory reform must end ‘regulation without representation’—by requiring that Congress approve agency rules–while making regulatory costs as transparent as possible.”

Among proposals in this report:

    • Halt “regulation without representation” by limiting Congress’s delegation of legislative power to unelected agencies;
    • Enhance disclosure by publishing a Regulatory Report Card each year alongside the federal budget, by compiling widespread but largely readily available data;
    • Require agencies to calculate costs of regulations, but not benefits (assuring benefits is Congress’s responsibility);
    • Lower the $100 million “major rule” threshold and create new categories of major rules;
    • Consider establishing a limited regulatory cost budget;
    • Establish a bipartisan Regulatory Reduction Commission to survey existing rules and assemble packages of rules to cut, no amendments allowed.

“Congress must assume responsibility for the regulatory state by voting on major agency rules before they are effective.” While some will claim this policy will bog down the Congress, Crews asks, “Do we want a society that makes so many laws the elected legislature can’t even pass them all?”

Jump, Jive an’ Reform Regulation is the latest publication in CEI’s 15 year old regulatory reform project. The 4th edition of the well-regarded Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Policymaker’s Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State is due to be published in April of this year.

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010, ext. 209.