U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) joined Congressmen Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) and Mick Mulvaney (SC-05) to introduce the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation to reform the Federal Code of Regulations by creating a commission tasked with eliminating and revising outdated and redundant federal regulations. The measure has broad support, with 14 members of Congress from both parties joining in the introduction. Last week, Senators Angus King (I-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“As a former small business owner, I’m committed to ensuring that government regulations don’t strangle economic growth,” said Congressman Schrader. “We clearly have too many regulations on the books and it’s high time we task a group with reviewing them with a fine tooth comb to determine which are repetitive or no longer relevant. This legislation is as commonsense as it gets and the bipartisan coalition supporting it speaks to that.”
“There is bipartisan agreement that federal government regulations are overly burdensome and stunting economic growth in this country,” said Congressman Murphy. “The Regulatory Improvement Act sets that plan in motion with an independent commission tasked with identifying outdated and duplicative regulatory barriers. Members of both parties, in the House and Senate, are committed to building a 21st-century regulatory system that supports clean air and water alongside a robust economy and positive job growth for this country. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on this important issue.”
“Over the years, lawmakers have created regulations with good intention, but many of them are duplicative and even outdated,” said Congressman Mulvaney. “It makes perfect sense to have an independent commission review and eliminate such regulations. This is an easy one for Democrats and Republicans alike, and I’m proud to have worked with Representative Murphy on this bill.”
According to an analysis by the Progressive Policy Institute, the Federal Code of Regulations grew to 169,301 pages in 2011 – an increase of 138 percent since 1975. While numerous efforts over the last 30 years have been made to encourage federal agencies to self-review and self-revise regulation, these efforts have been largely ineffective. As older regulations become outdated and new rules are layered on top, American companies are forced to comply with a growing maze of confusing, duplicative, and often useless regulations at the expense of workers and taxpayers.
The Regulatory Improvement Act would create an independent, bipartisan commission called the Regulatory Improvement Commission (RIC) to review rules that are outdated, duplicative, or in conflict with one another, and then present recommendations to Congress for an up-or-down vote. Members of the RIC would be composed of representatives from business and civic organizations and would be appointed by the President and Congressional leaders.
The bill has the support of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).
Cosponsoring the Regulatory Improvement Act are Reps. Brad Ashford (NE-02), Diane Black (TN-06), Reid Ribble (WI-08), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Ron Kind (WI-03), David Joyce (OH-14), John Delaney (MD-06), Ted Yoho (FL-03), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), David Jolly (FL-13), and Jim Costa (CA-16).
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