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Bill to provide regulatory relief for businesses

August 5, 2015

Courtesy of NSBA

On June 18, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Independent Regulatory Analysis Act of 2015 (S.1607), bipartisan legislation that would require independent agencies to analyze the costs and benefits of new regulations and tailor new rules to minimize unnecessary burdens on the economy.

For 30 years, presidents of both parties have required agencies to scrutinize the costs and benefits of major new regulations, but this process has always exempted independent agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Federal Communications Commission, among others.

The legislation addresses this by authorizing the president to bring independent agencies into the analysis and review process that governs executive agencies. By focusing on cost-benefit analysis and accountability, these bipartisan reforms will provide a more stable economic environment, promoting growth and job creation.

According to government records, out of the 18 major final rules issued by independent agencies in 2013, not one was based on a complete, quantified cost-benefit analysis. The same was true in 2012— 18 major rules, zero with a complete cost-benefit analysis.  The figure was 17 and zero in both 2011 and 2010.

A summary of the Portman-Warner-Collins legislation can be found here.

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