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House Judiciary Passes SCRUB Act

The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act (HR 4874) was introduced on June 17th by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) and referred to three House Committees – Oversight & Government Reform, Judiciary, and Appropriations. Within 24 hours, the House Judiciary Committee had passed the measure. Timing for consideration by the other two Committees is unknown as of this writing.
The bill creates an independent regulatory review panel to evaluate which Federal regulations, or clusters of regulations, should be eliminated or repealed due to obsolescence or unnecessarily burdensome requirements. The panel’s recommended removal list would be submitted to Congress for approval. Beyond removing burdensome or obsolete requirements, the expectation is that process would also reduce costs to the economy.
Not unexpectedly, votes on the bill were purely along partisan lines. Democrats fear that taking such action would give greater weight to economic savings over benefits. However, the issue does have some bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. A similar measure, HR 4646, would create a regulatory improvement commission to make recommendations on elimination and/or revisions to Federal rules that are either outdated or redundant. That measure was introduced by Rep. Patrick Murphy (R-PA) and has 22 cosponsors, 11 of whom are Democrats. In the upper chamber, Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have introduced a similar measure, S 1390.