CBO: Reg reform bill would cost $45 million

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Opponents, however, have said that that would slow down critical protections for the public and make it more expensive for agencies to act.

“Sending agencies to do even more analysis than is already required is throwing money at the wrong problem,” Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, said in a statement to The Hill. “The agencies are already struggling to fulfill Congress’s mandates to protect the public with the small budgets they have.”

Narang and other public interest advocates have warned that the legislation would be too onerous on regulators and prevent them from doing their job.

The bill would force agencies to consider the “indirect” cost to small businesses of new regulations.

It would also make regulators hear from an outside committee about the impacts of new rules.

Currently, only the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are required to convene a panel of experts to review rules expected to have a significant impact on small businesses. The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act would extend that requirement to all federal agencies.

The legislation was passed by the Judiciary Committee in July.

A similar bill passed the House last Congress but died in the Senate. President Obama had pledged to veto that legislation if it ever reached his desk.