H.Res. 72: Directing certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth

H.Res. 72

Directing certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth

Date
February 10, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Thursday, February 10, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.Res. 72 under a rule providing for nine hours and 30 minutes of debate.  The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the resolution and provides for one motion to recommit the bill with or without instructions. Under the rule, time for the debate is divided as follows:

  • 30 minutes equally dived between the Majority Leader and Minority Leader;
  • Eight hours equally divided among and controlled by the respective chairs and ranking minority members of the Committees on Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, the Judiciary, Natural Resources, Oversight and Government Reform, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means; and
  • One hour equally divided among and controlled by the respective chairs and ranking minority members of the Committees on Education and the Workforce and Small Business.

The bill was introduced on February 8, 2011, by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and was reported by the Committee on Rules the same day.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 72 would direct ten standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed government regulations by agencies within their jurisdiction.  While conducting the inventory and review, each committee would be required to identify each regulation’s effect on jobs and economic growth.  Specifically, committees would be required to identify and inventory regulations that do the following:

  • Impede private-sector job creation;
  • Discourage innovation and entrepreneurial activity;
  • Hurt economic growth and investment;
  • Harm the Nation’s global competitiveness;
  • Limit access to credit and capital;
  • Fail to utilize or apply accurate cost-benefit analyses;
  • Create additional economic uncertainty;
  • Are promulgated in such a way as to limit transparency and the opportunity for public comment, particularly by affected parties;
  • Lack specific statutory authorization;
  • Undermine labor-management relations;
  • Result in large-scale unfunded mandates on employers without due cause; or
  • Impose undue paperwork and cost burdens on small businesses.

The following committees would be required to conduct an inventory of existing and pending regulations:

  • The Committee on Agriculture;
  • The Committee on Education and the Workforce;
  • The Committee on Energy and Commerce;
  • The Committee on Financial Services;
  • The Committee on the Judiciary;
  • The Committee on Natural Resources;
  • The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform;
  • The Committee on Small Business;
  • The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and
  • The Committee on Ways and Means.

Background

Background

Federal regulations impose tens of thousands of dollars in additional costs for households and businesses each year.  According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the average small business with less than 20 employees faces a cost of $10,585 in federal regulations each year per worker they employ.  Businesses with fewer than 20 employees spend on average 36 percent more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulations. According to the SBA, these small employers represent 99.7 percent of all businesses and have created 64 percent of all new jobs over the past 15 years.  Ultimately, the cost of federal regulations to small businesses must either be passed on to the consumer or workers, either in the form of lower wages or a shortage of jobs that would have been otherwise paid for with money spent complying with federal regulations.

A recent study by the Heritage Foundation found that an unprecedented 43 major regulations were imposed in fiscal year 2010 with a total economic cost of $26.5 billion, the highest total since at least 1981.  In addition, the Wall St. Journal reported that the Democrats’ new finance law contains an expected 243 new rulemakings.  Since passage in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has added 6,123 pages of regulations and Federal Register notices in just its first nine months.  According to a September 2010 report from the SBA, total regulatory costs amount to $1.75 trillion annually, nearly twice as much as all individual income taxes collected last year.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate for H.Res. 72 was not available as of press time.