Push the Regulatory Reset Button

President Barack Obama tried to seize the agenda from Republicans in Congress saying in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that he would order a government-wide review of regulations to eliminate those that discourage job creation or weaken America’s economic competitiveness.

“It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades,” the President said.

Congress should complement the President’s words backing them up with the following actions:

BALANCE OF INTERESTS TEST.  Congress should require that Federal agencies balance the health, safety, environment and the economic best interests of the nation in adopting any rules just as the President suggested only put it in law.  This would force agencies to consider all sides of an issue and propose a solution, based upon the preponderance of the evidence that represents a fair and reasonable balancing of the competing interests.

CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.  Congress should reclaim its legislative powers by requiring that every new Federal regulation be submitted to Congress for approval before it goes into effect and require a recorded up or down vote, no amendments or earmarks allow, on the rule within 90 days of submittal to affirm legislative intent or force it to be rewritten.

SUNSET ALL REGULATIONS.  Every regulation should be subjected to a continuing needs test by requiring Congressional re-authorization at least once every five years or the rule lapses.

If Congress and the Administration are serious about restoring confidence, easing the uncertainty over future regulations and encourage job creation these actions send a loud and clear message.

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