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Senator Blunt Renews Push To Jumpstart Economic Growth By Repealing Outdated Regulations

March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today joined U.S. Senator Angus King (Maine) and their colleagues to reintroduce the Regulatory Improvement Act, legislation that would create a “Regulatory Improvement Commission” to review outdated regulations with the goal of modifying, consolidating, or repealing regulations in order to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve competitiveness.

“Every day, I hear from Missouri families, farmers, and job creators who are burdened with too many confusing, inefficient, and duplicative government regulations that continue to hold back economic growth and job creation,” Blunt said. “Americans need more economic certainty, and this bill will give us a better process to streamline regulatory burdens and help job creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators grow and hire more people.”

The bipartisan bill is also co-sponsored by U.S Senators Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.). To read the bill, click here.

Background on the Regulatory Improvement Act:

Thousands of regulations are implemented every year. In 2014 alone, more than 3,500 regulations were finalized, 80 of which were considered “major” rules that would have an annual economic impact of at least $100 million or have significant impacts on prices, industries, or trade competitiveness.

However, the current systems for reviewing the efficacy of existing regulations are largely ineffective. Under current law, regulations are screened prior to their enactment and, once implemented, agencies are encouraged to conduct retrospective reviews but often lack the resources and incentives to do so in a timely and comprehensive fashion. The result is that thousands and thousands of regulations accumulate without any concern for their effectiveness.

To address that problem, the Regulatory Improvement Act would create a bipartisan Commission that incorporates broad stakeholder input to reach a consensus on how to retain essential environmental, public health, and safety protections with the minimum necessary compliance costs while also reducing regulatory burdens in a targeted manner by focusing on repealing regulations that are outdated, duplicative, or inefficient.

Members of the bipartisan Commission will be appointed by Congressional leadership and the President and will give particular attention in their review to the impact of regulations on small businesses. Upon an extensive review process, involving broad input from the general public and stakeholders, the Commission will submit to Congress a report containing regulations in need of streamlining, consolidation, or repeal.

Both Houses of Congress will then consider the Commission’s report under expedited legislative procedures, which allow relevant Congressional Committees to review the Commission’s report but not amend the recommendations. The bill will then be placed on the calendar of each house for privileged floor consideration.

The legislation, which Senators Blunt and King also introduced last Congress, has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Progressive Policy Institute.

Blunt has helped lead the fight to restore government accountability and stop over-regulation in Washington:

Citizen Empowerment Act: Blunt recently reintroduced the Citizen Empowerment Act to restore Americans’ trust in government by expanding current law to allow individuals to record conversations with executive agency employees. Under the bill, executive agency employees are required to provide individuals with a verbal or written notice of the individual’s right to record the conversation before or at the time of their initial interaction. He originally introduced the bill in July 2013 after it was revealed that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials admitted to targeting conservative organizations and other Americans. Co-sponsors of the bill in the 114th Congress include U.S. Senators John Cornyn (Texas), Deb Fischer (Neb.), and Pat Roberts (Kan.).

ENFORCE the Law Act: Blunt recently reintroduced the Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law (ENFORCE the Law) Act, which would put a procedure in place to permit Congress to authorize a lawsuit against the executive branch for failure to faithfully execute the laws. He reintroduced the bill following President Obama’s executive amnesty announcement.

REINS Act: Blunt co-sponsored the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Congress to approve every new major rule proposed by the executive branch with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more before the rule can be enforced on the American people.

Regulatory Responsibility for Our Economy Act: Blunt co-sponsored Roberts's Regulatory Responsibility for Our Economy Act, which ensures that regulations put forth by the executive branch consider the economic burden on American businesses, account for stakeholder input, and promote innovation. The bill would require all federal agencies to review their significant regulations, and propose a timeline to repeal those deemed burdensome, unnecessary or those that harm the economy or job creation.

Government Employee Accountability Act: Blunt reintroduced the Government Employee Accountability Act this Congress to give executive agencies the ability to effectively deal with Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, and provide Congress with more oversight. Blunt originally introduced the bill last Congress in the wake of the IRS scandal.

Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act: Blunt recently co-sponsored the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act, which was introduced by Roberts and U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (Ariz.). The bill protects the free-speech rights of 501(c)(4) organizations by prohibiting for one year the finalization of a proposed IRS regulation that would significantly limit the advocacy and educational activities of these groups.

Taxpayer Right To Know Act: Last Congress, Blunt co-sponsored the bipartisan Taxpayer Right to Know Act, which was introduced by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (Okla.) and was co-sponsored by more than 20 additional senators. The bipartisan bill would increase transparency in Washington by requiring agencies to provide taxpayers with an annual report card for each of its programs.

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