Report: Repeal #NeverNeeded Regulations to Help COVID-19 Response


COVID-19 relief bills have so far focused on keeping businesses and households afloat during the pandemic closures and quarantines, but the federal government should continue to eliminate regulations that make the situation worse or harm recovery efforts. A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute offers a blueprint for the administration, Congress, and the states to take action.

“Lawmakers should prioritize policies that mitigate the effects of the pandemic on everyday life,” said Kent Lassman, CEI president. “We need flexibility to solve problems without rigid regulations that make economic recovery more difficult.” 

 “The American economy is facing a greater threat than the 2008 financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and a stock market downturn,” said Iain Murray, a CEI senior fellow. “Government aid won’t be enough to get the country past the health and economic catastrophe. We must get rid of unneeded regulations that impede recovery.”

The report recommends specific actions to remove regulatory barriers, such as:

How Repeal of #NeverNeeded Regulations Can Help Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis, recommends specific actions to remove regulatory barriers, such as:

    • Accelerate approval of new medicines.
    • Relax medical licensing rules that stop health care professionals from performing services they are trained to provide.
    • Lift barriers to telemedicine.
    • Waive fuel efficiency rules for auto manufacturers making medical devices.
    • Refocus CDC and FDA attention to combating pandemics.
    • Ensure access to capital via small-dollar lending and FinTech.
    • Reduce employee classification barriers.
    • Suspend regulations like those associated with California’s AB5 law, which eliminated a lot of homework at the worst possible time. 
    • End or preempt shale fracking bans and natural gas pipeline restrictions.
    • Encourage new resource production/manufacturing by allowing more resource extraction and manufacturing.
    • End plastic bag bans.
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    • Allow development of private tech infrastructure.
    • Repeal the REAL ID Act.
    • Repeal or suspend the 1920 Jones Act that has led to a drastic shortage of marine shipment services.
    • Suspend tariffs that harm supply chains and domestic agriculture and manufacturing.

For a full list of urgently needed reforms, visit