“Regulations do have costs; often, as a country, we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary."
- President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
GOP Conference Secretary, Rep. John Carter (TX), has been tracking the burden that expensive government regulations place on the economy. Last week, Rep. Carter’s “Reg Watch Update” included this factoid:
What are House Republicans Doing?
In order to ease the regulatory burden on the economy and to promote job creation, we will approve legislation that requires a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy.
One example of such legislation is the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, introduced by Rep. Geoff Davis (KY). This legislation would restore Congressional accountability for the regulatory process requiring Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign-off on all new major rules—those that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more—before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or State and local governments.
Additionally, the House passed H.Res. 72 on February 11, 2011, a resolution that would direct ten standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed government regulations by agencies within their jurisdiction. Committee reports identifying each committee’s activities highlighting the regulatory effect on jobs and economic growth were submitted last week. For example, at a March 30, 2011 hearing of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight investigating the budgetary and economic effects of implementing the Dodd-Frank Act, former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin testified, “additional costs will be shifted to workers in the form of fewer jobs and reduced compensation—and financial services customers—in the form of fewer free services, higher fees, and increased borrowing costs.”