WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Orrin Hatch issued the following statement after introducing the Searching for and Cutting Regulations That Are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2014:
“One of the biggest problems we face as a nation is the massive accumulation of federal regulations. Administrative rules now impose an estimated burden of $1.86 trillion on the nation’s economy—roughly $15,000 per household. Every President since Jimmy Carter has endorsed the idea of reviewing old regulations to get rid of those that are excessively burdensome, outdated, or ineffective. But too many unjustified regulations continue to hold back job creation and economic growth. The SCRUB Act will provide a commonsense and practical means to reduce the unnecessary costs of existing regulations.
The SCRUB Act:
- Establishes a bipartisan, Blue-Ribbon, BRAC-style commission to review existing federal regulations and identify those that should be repealed to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.
- Sets the Commission’s goal to be the reduction of at least 15 percent in the cumulative costs of federal regulation with a minimal reduction in the overall effectiveness of such regulation.
- Prioritizes for review regulations that are major rules, have been in effect more than 15 years, impose paperwork burdens that could be reduced substantially without significantly diminishing regulatory effectiveness, impose disproportionately high costs on small businesses, or could be strengthened in their effectiveness while reducing regulatory costs.
- Establishes key additional factors to be taken into account when identifying regulations for repeal (e.g., the regulations have: been rendered obsolete by technological or market changes; achieved their goals and can be repealed without target problems recurring; are ineffective; overlap, duplicate or conflict with other federal regulations or with state and local regulations; or, impose costs that are not justified by benefits produced for society within the United States).
- Requires that annual and final Commission recommendations of regulations for presented to Congress for approval by joint resolutions of Congress. If Congress votes to approve the Commission’s recommendations, repeal must take place.
- For any given regulation, the Commission is authorized to recommend either immediate repeal or repeal through “cut-go” procedures, whereby agencies, on a forward basis, would have to offset the costs of new regulations by repealing Commission-identified regulations of equal or greater cost. These procedures allow immediate repeal in the most urgent cases and staggered repeals of other regulations to assure a smoother process for agencies and affected entities.
In the House of Representatives, the SCRUB Act is sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith. It passed the both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this fall.
Senator Hatch has played a key role in every major regulatory reform effort for the past 38 years, including as an original cosponsor of the 1981 Regulatory Reform Act and as an author of the 1995 Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act while serving as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
His past proposals that address the problem of regulatory accumulation include the original Regulatory Accountability Act of 1993, which included a number of mechanisms for implementing retrospective review similar to those in the SCRUB Act. In major addresses at the Reagan Ranch in October and at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention in November, Senator Hatch named the SCRUB Act among the regulatory reform proposals that will be his top priorities in the 114th Congress.
Submitted by the Offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch
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