WASHINGTON—Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) President Will Marshall today joined Representatives Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and a bipartisan group of House members to unveil major regulatory reform legislation based on a proposal by PPI to tackle regulatory accumulation, the harmful layering of new federal rules atop old rules year after year.
The Regulatory Improvement Act of 2014 (H.R. 4646) would establish an independent advisory body authorized by Congress—the Regulatory Improvement Commission (RIC)—to review, remove or improve existing outdated, duplicative or inefficient regulations as submitted by the public. The legislation is identical to a Senate companion bill (S. 1390) introduced by Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
“Regulatory overload is suffocating economic growth and stifling innovation in the United States,” said Michael Mandel, PPI Chief Economic Strategist. “Regulations are essential for a well-functioning economy, but the federal government needs a systematic mechanism for improving or removing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. The RIC would effectively ‘scrape the barnacles off the bottom of the boat’ and allow our nation’s businesses to move forward on innovating and hiring workers.”
Originally conceived by PPI economists Michael Mandel and Diana Carew, the RIC is modeled after the highly successful military base-closing commission. It would consist of nine members appointed by Congressional leadership and the President to consider a single sector or area of regulations and report regulations in need or improvement, consolidation, or repeal.
Both Houses of Congress would then consider the Commission’s report under expedited legislative procedures, which allow relevant Congressional Committees to review the Commission’s report but not amend the recommendations. The bill would then be placed on the calendar of each chamber for a straight up-or-down vote.
Following its report, the RIC would be dissolved and must be re-authorized each time Congress would like to repeat this process to avoid the creation of a new government bureaucracy.