House Moves on Regulatory Reform Measures

On Tuesday, February 28, the House voted in favor of the SCRUB (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome) Act.  HR 990 calls for a five year, nine-member Presidential Commission to review older rules (more than 15 years since enactment) to identify those that are outdated, unnecessary, or ready for repeal.  However, public health impacts must also be considered before removal determinations can be made.  The goal is to reduce the total number of federal regulations by 15 percent.  The measure authorizes $30 million for each fiscal year, 2017-2022 to accomplish the review.  It is unclear, however, whether this bill will see consideration in the Senate or enactment because of the President’s recent Executive Order that calls for task forces to review all Federal rules to identify those ripe for repeal. (See separate article.)
On Wednesday, the House passed the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act (HR 1009).  The Act calls for Congressional oversight of the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).  Separately, the Act also calls for Agencies to develop a report to be submitted on both proposed rules for consideration and retrospective reviews designed to identify outdated standards that may be eliminated.  Further, not later than April 1 and October 1 of each year, the head of each Agency shall submit an agenda of each regulation under development or review.
On Thursday, the House continued its reform efforts and passed HR 1004, the Regulatory Integrity Act.  Thee Regulatory Integrity Act calls for all Federal Agencies to post an online record of rules and their status; disclose all communications about rules; and prohibit Agencies from promoting rules using social media.  Agencies would also be required to display any regulatory actions that duplicate or overlap with others.
The measures now move to the Senate for consideration.