WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today introduced two bills to protect the economy from misguided regulations by requiring cost benefit analysis and further measures to inform the public about proposed regulations and their consequences.
“After speaking with many Kansans about the effects of misguided federal regulations on their businesses and communities, we examined the process of issuing regulations and determined that many of the most egregious regulations can be avoided if a simple cost benefit analysis is done. I think most Americans are shocked to learn that this is not already required.”
Roberts’ first bill, The Restoring Honesty for our Economy Act, requires agency heads to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a cost benefit analysis on regulations that are deemed “economically significant.” Economically significant regulations adversely affect the economy or have an effect of $100 million or more. Under Roberts’ bill, regulations may not be finalized until this information is included. Bill text here.
Roberts’ second bill, The Restoring Integrity to our Government Act, takes it one step further and requires agencies to enumerate the reasons for a declaring a regulation significant. Bill text here.
“In hearing after hearing and meeting after meeting,” Roberts said. “I will ask the Administration why a regulation is significant, and they can’t tell me. Then my question is always, ‘well, why do we need it then?’ If they are proposing the regulation, we need to know the impact and the unintended consequences in the real world.”
According to the President’s Executive Order 12866, a regulation is deemed “significant” by the following four criteria:
having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any one year, or adversely and materially affecting a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local or tribal governments or communities (also referred to as “economically significant”);
creating a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfering with an action taken or planned by another agency;
materially altering the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or
raising novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.
Roberts’ bill requires agencies to inform OMB the reasons a regulation meets one or more of these criteria.
These bills are the latest effort by Roberts to eliminate regulations that harm the economy and slow economic growth. Senator Roberts is an outspoken advocate for the elimination of ridiculous and burdensome regulations issued by the agenda driven Obama Administration. From the School Lunch Program to healthcare, Roberts has fought this executive overreach and won. He has also introduced legislation, S. 191, the Regulatory Responsibility for our Economy Act to put the power of law behind the President’s widely touted, but largely ignored, executive order directing federal agencies to review their regulations ensuring they cause no harm to the economy or job creation. This bill has 35 cosponsors. Roberts has also introduced a bill to end costly and excessive regulation at the EPA, S. 175.
Roberts is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.