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Groups push Congress to create regulatory budget

Advocacy groups are calling on Congress to account for the cost of regulations in next year’s final federal budget.

A coalition led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote an open letter to Congress asking lawmakers include the regulatory budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) in their fiscal 2017 plan. 

“The need for reform is urgent,” said the letter signed by groups like American Commitment, Americans for Tax Reform and the Campaign for Liberty.

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“The government’s cost burden imposed on American families and businesses extends well beyond taxes, deficits, and borrowing. The country spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year on red tape,” the groups said. “That’s a big drain on the economy, entrepreneurship and job creation.”

The resolution Price introduced would require a congressional regulatory budget that establishes annual costs of regulations and allocates these costs amongst the federal regulatory agencies. It would also force all federal agencies to secure congressional approval for all rules with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more.

The idea for a regulatory budget is not new. Former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) proposed legislation in 1979 to establish one and cap compliance costs. Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Utah) is reworking legislation he introduced December 2014 to create a regulatory budget. A Lee aide said the revised bill is due out next month.

“With the recognition of the regulatory hidden tax alongside the budgetary one, we urge Congress to seize this unique opportunity to assert control over the regulatory state and enact significant reforms,” the letter from the groups said.