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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wants to eliminate the nation’s most burdensome regulations.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday to examine the federal regulatory system and discuss ways to improve accountability, transparency and integrity, Hatch announced plans to reintroduce the Searching for and Cutting Regulations That Are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act, better known as the SCRUB Act. 

The bill, which Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) introduced in the House in February, would establish a bipartisan BRAC-style commission to review existing federal regulations and identify rules that should be repealed. 

“Every President since Jimmy Carter has agreed on the need to review our existing regulations to make sure that they are efficient and are no more intrusive and burdensome than is absolutely necessary,” Hatch said during the hearing. “Nevertheless, the regulatory burden keeps growing year after year.”

Though the bill is almost identical to the legislation Hatch introduced at the tail end of the last Congressional session, language has been added this time around to prohibit agencies from implementing rules substantially similar to rules Congress has ordered them to repeal.

And unlike the companion bill Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) introduced in the House in February, the Senate bill includes expedited procedures for  congress to consider commission recommendations.

“Federal regulations today impose a burden of $1.86 trillion dollars on the economy by some estimates,” Hatch said. “That’s roughly $15,000 per household and more than corporate and individual income taxes combined. Too much regulation—especially too much outdated regulation—means higher prices, smaller paychecks, and fewer jobs for hardworking Americans.”

But testifying at Wednesday’s hearing, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said the benefits of rules adopted during the Obama administration, as with rules adopted during the Bush administration, vastly exceed the costs, even when measured according to corporate-friendly criteria.

“We have also seen in recent years with great clarity the impact of regulatory failure—lack of regulatory enforcement, regulations delayed or rolled back, and insufficient regulatory standards and protections in place,” he said. “Most notably, it was regulatory failure that was significantly responsible for the Great Recession, which imposed far greater costs on the economy and cost far more jobs than regulations ever could.”

Tags Economics of regulation Orrin Hatch Orrin Hatch Public administration Regulation United States administrative law Utah
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