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Senator Blunt, Colleagues Introduce Bill To Ease Regulatory Burden For American Job Creators

April 23, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today introduced the Regulatory Review and Sunset Act, legislation that establishes an orderly process by which federal agencies are required to regularly review regulations with an effect on the economy of $100 million or more to determine whether they should be continued, modified, consolidated, or terminated. Co-sponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators Dean Heller (Nev.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), and Thom Tillis (N.C.). U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (Ill.) also introduced a House companion version of the bill today.

Under the bill, agencies must consider the views of the public, and those views will be a factor in determining if rules will be deemed obsolete or unnecessary. If an agency determines that it is prohibited from amending or rescinding a rule as a direct result of existing law, the Regulatory Review and Sunset Act requires the agency to report back to Congress on proposed statutory changes that would permit the necessary reform.

“Every day, I hear from Missouri families, farmers, and small businesses who say one of the biggest barriers to job creation and economic growth is the extreme regulatory burden,” Blunt said. “Americans need more economic certainty, and it’s long past time for Congress to take a hard look at regulations that have become millstones around the necks of job creators. That’s why I’ve introduced this important bill that would create an orderly process to regularly review major rules and ease unnecessary regulatory burdens so that American job creators can get back to hiring, expanding, growing, and investing.”

“As evidenced by the ten new regulations a day finalized by federal agencies in 2014, big government has grown out of control. Worst of all, once a regulation is on the books, it hardly comes off,” Heller said. “Many federal agencies’ rules and regulations have become outdated and obsolete. This legislation fixes the problem that presents. It gives Congress the power to reform unnecessary regulatory burdens. America doesn’t need bigger government. It needs an efficient one. I’m proud to join with my colleagues Senators Blunt, Roberts, and Tillis to streamline the process and make common sense reforms.”

“Too often with this Administration it is regulate first, ask questions later,” Roberts said. “This bill will ensure those in the crosshairs of a burdensome regulation will be heard and have their concerns addressed.”

“Out-of-control regulatory overreach has stifled America’s economic potential by forcing hardworking business owners to spend their time complying with costly regulations instead of growing their businesses and creating jobs,” Tillis said. “I am pleased to co-sponsor the Regulatory Review and Sunset Act, which will provide critical Congressional oversight of many burdensome federal regulations that are harming America’s small businesses and local communities.”

“For too long, hardworking Americans have suffered the collateral damage of higher prices, lower wages, and fewer jobs as a result of excessive and outdated regulation. The regulatory burden weakens the confidence of the business community in Illinois and nationwide, resulting in a reluctance to hire workers and invest. This inefficient and ineffective regulatory regime spans across the federal government, and our economy suffers,” Hultgren said. “Families in my district are finding their incomes are not keeping up with rising prices for daily necessities. The last thing they need is more costly burdens on their budget. These bills will push federal agencies to analyze the rules on the books and put those that are obsolete, duplicative and conflicting on a path to elimination. I thank Senator Blunt for introducing similar legislation in the Senate to cut down on unnecessary and costly regulations, and I hope to see action on both bills soon.”

Background on Burdensome Regulations:

  • Complying with federal regulations costs American small businesses nearly $12,000 per employee annually.
  • Currently, there are more than 3,400 proposed federal rules pending approval and federal regulators are rolling out new rules at a startling pace. 
  • Last year, federal agencies finalized more than 10 new regulations a day – for a total of 3,759 new regulations in 2014.

Specifically, the Regulatory Review and Sunset Act:

  • Requires the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget to conduct an inventory of existing “covered” rules (those with an effect on the economy of $100 million or more) and to publish the list.
  • Requires agencies to consider the comments of the public, regulated community, and Congress with regard to the costs and burdens of regulations.

  • Creates a sunset review process for significant regulations that can provide for the termination of such regulations.

  • Establishes a petition process that allows the public and Congress to request the review of non-significant regulations.

  • Requires agencies to report to Congress on recommended statutory changes should statutes bind agencies to enforcing regulations they otherwise would repeal or amend.

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