Friday, November 4, 2011

Judiciary Committee Approves Smith's Bill to Rein in Regulations | Congressman Lamar Smith

Judiciary Committee Approves Smith's Bill to Rein in Regulations | Congressman Lamar Smith

Judiciary Committee Approves Smith's Bill to Rein in Regulations

Washington, Nov 3 -

The House Judiciary Committee today passed a bipartisan bill to reform the federal regulatory process and reduce unnecessary burdens on job creators. The bill is sponsored by Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. The Regulatory Accountability Act requires agencies to assess the costs and benefits of regulatory alternatives and, in most cases, to adopt the least-costly alternative to achieve the regulatory objectives of Congress. The Act places permanent restrictions on regulatory agencies and restores accountability by requiring openness and transparency in the regulatory process. The bill passed by a vote of 16-6.

Chairman Smith: “Government regulation has become a barrier to economic growth and job creation. Federal regulations cost our economy $1.75 trillion each year. And the Obama administration seeks to add billions more to the cost. By its own admission, the administration is preparing 200 regulations that each will affect the economy by $100 million or more.

“Faced with huge new regulatory burdens and uncertainties about what will come next, employers slow down hiring, stop investing and wait for a bill. We need to encourage businesses to expand, not tie them up with red tape. The Regulatory Accountability Act will help lift the regulatory burden and free up small businesses and employers to spend more, invest more, and produce more to create more jobs for American workers.”

For decades, presidents of both parties have issued executive orders to produce less burdensome regulations. This bill makes the principles of those bipartisan directives permanent, enforceable and applicable to all regulatory agencies, including independent agencies. The Regulatory Accountability Act requires agencies to tailor new regulations to impose the least cost necessary to achieve policy goals set out by Congress. And the bill requires agencies to hold formal hearings to test the assumptions and evidence on which the costliest new rules are based.

This bipartisan, bicameral effort is the first of its kind in more than a decade to reform and minimize regulations that stifle economic growth. The bill has 24 cosponsors.

The Regulatory Accountability Act is part of the House Judiciary Committee’s agenda to restore regulatory accountability. Under Chairman Smith’s leadership, the Committee has approved two additional bills to rein in federal regulations. TheREINS Act (H.R. 10) requires congressional approval for government regulations that have an economic impact of at least $100 million. The Committee approved H.R. 10 in October by a vote of 22-14. The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act(H.R. 527) requires federal agencies to identify and reduce the costs new regulations would impose on small businesses. The Committee approved H.R. 527 in July by a vote of 18-8.

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