Certain regulatory reforms with deep bipartisan endorsement should be incorporated into contentious fiscal budget agreements, particularly when spending cuts are difficult (which is always).
We’re a couple weeks out from another partial government shutdown if a budget deal is not made by October 1, or if a new stopgap short-term spending package doesn’t push the deadline back a month or so.
Armageddon drama notwithstanding, the federal government never shuts down even though much of it ought to be. Rest assured, taxes will continue coming out of your paycheck whenever “shutdown” happens; Washington simply doesn’t live within its means. That the House Freedom Caucus has been demanding a hold at the $1.47 trillion 2022 level is somehow a problem not just for Democrats but for mainline Republicans.
While regulatory tweaks will not rightsize government, they are necessary steps toward that broader end, equally as critical as spending sanity. As it happens the Republican Study Committee released a slate of regulatory options along with spending ones in its Debt Limit Playbook earlier this year.
Along with insisting upon spending cuts, regulatory streamlining should be made more prominent in whatever fiscal year 2024 deal emerges. This is particularly important given that, in the background, the Biden White House is rewriting the government’s own rulebook for regulatory analysis such that any new regulation from the alphabet soup of three- and four-letter agencies passes muster. Congress has yet to get out in front of these outflanking maneuvers by the administration.
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