CBO cannot estimate effects of GOP anti-regulations bill

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Monday said that is unable to estimate the budgetary effects of the GOP anti-regulations bill coming to the floor this week.

The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act would impose a freeze on all new significant federal regulations until the unemployment rate dips below 6 percent. It would also ban regulations from being issued during the lame-duck session of Congress and force the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to conduct cost-benefit evaluations on regulations.

CBO said that the bill would affect revenue and spending but it and the Joint Committee on Taxation "cannot estimate the sign or magnitude of those effects." It said it expects the agencies would increase user fees to cover any additional costs imposed by the regulations, but the costs would be small. It estimated that the addition cost to the private sector would be below $146 million. 

The GOP argued that the bill will remove burdens on small business and help spur hiring. Moving the bill now helps the party pin the blame for the lackluster economic recovery on President Obama and his administration's actions. The White House argues that the pace of regulation under Obama is historically low.

Limiting regulations was part of the GOP's Pledge to America platform in the 2010 election.