House Advances Regulatory Reform Bills
Last week, the House of Representatives made good on its promise to put the reins on out-of-control federal agencies by passing several bills aimed at gutting regulations that stifle the economic growth of American businesses. Some of the bills passed were the Regulatory Accountability Act, which would require agencies to use less costly regulations to achieve its goals; the Midnight Rule Relief Act, which would give Congress the ability to vacate all the previous administration's midnight rules (regulations issued in the final 60 days of the outgoing administration) and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which requires Congress to approve any agency regulation costing $100 million or more. Each of these bills seeks to restore the power of oversight to Congress.
NRMCA supports these bills, but of particular interest is the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, H.R. 5, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 238-183. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA), seeks to prevent executive agencies and departments from promulgating regulations that are beyond the intent of Congress and that unduly harm businesses. Among the reforms included in H.R. 5 is a requirement that federal agencies, when formulating a new rule, choose the lowest-cost rulemaking alternative that meets the statutory requirement. In addition, the bill requires agencies to account for the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of new regulations on small businesses and to publish a plain-language summary of proposed, forthcoming regulations.
The early push for regulatory reform was the biggest political component of the last election. Regulations published in 2016 alone imposed costs of $164 billion on the economy and added 120 million hours of paperwork. The ready mixed concrete industry has been negatively impacted by an onslaught of regulations over the last eight years. Two of these regulations – emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks and the workplace silica rule – impose a combined $38 billion burden on the ready mixed concrete industry. For this reason, NRMCA is joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in sending senators a letter in strong support of the regulatory reforms in H.R. 5.
The bills passed in the House last week have been received in the Senate and referred to the appropriate committees for action. NRMCA will keep you informed as these bills make their way through the Senate.
For more information, please contact Andrew Tyrrell at email@example.com.