House Oversight Committee Passes Regulatory Reform Bill

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On November 30, the House Oversight and Governmental Affairs Committee passed HR 2623, Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act.  The bill essentially codifies the requirements issued respectively, in February and April of this year, as Executive Orders 13771 and 13773.

As passed, the requirements outlined in EO 13771 would take on statutory authority to require that “Before proposing a significant regulatory action during FY 2018, an agency must identify at least two regulatory actions for repeal.  Total incremental cost of all such new significant regulatory actions and any repealed regulatory actions must be (1) no greater than zero, or (2) consistent with an OMB waiver.”  Deregulatory actions have been previously defined to include rules, guidance documents, and ICRs (information collection rules) designed to streamline or repeal certain recordkeeping or disclosure requirements.

EO 13777’s requirements for Federal Agencies to establish taskforces to undertake regulatory reform efforts would also become law under the bill.  Such efforts include “…repeal or amendment of regulations that eliminate or inhibit jobs, impose costs exceeding benefits, create inconsistency, interfere with regulatory reform…” and additional outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective regulations.

The bill also calls for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “set a net amount of incremental costs allowed for each agency in issuing new significant regulations and repealing regulatory actions for each fiscal year.”  It further prohibits issuing any new significant regulation if it was not included in the most recent version of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Action or has been granted a waiver by OMB.

The next step would be for the bill to move to the House Floor for consideration.  There does not appear to be a companion measure in the Senate.