Press Releases

PPI Releases New Report on Regulatory Reform

By / 5.10.2013

May 10, 2013

Steven Chlapecka—, T: 202.525.3931

Regulatory Improvement Commission Would Drive Growth and Innovation

WASHINGTON—The creation of an independent, Congressionally-authorized Regulatory Improvement Commission (RIC) is the most effective way to address the build-up of regulations over time affecting businesses, says a new report released today by the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).

The report, Regulatory Improvement Commission: A Politically-Viable Approach to U.S. Regulatory Reform, is by PPI’s Chief Economic Strategist Dr. Michael Mandel and PPI economist Diana G. Carew. It was prepared for a conference on “Regulating in the Digital Economy” held in Washington DC on May 9 and sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.

The natural accumulation of federal regulations over time imposes an unintended but significant cost to businesses and economic growth. President Obama’s approach to regulatory look back has made some headway in clearing the regulatory underbrush but much more needs to be done. No satisfactory process currently exists for retrospectively improving or removing regulations.

“The status quo of agency self-review is not, and has never been, an effective way to address old or outdated regulations affecting consumers, as well as small and large businesses,”says one of the report’s authors, Diana G. Carew. “Regulations are important to a well-functioning economy, but a regulatory system that facilitates innovation is a critical part of a high-growth strategy – that means we need to address regulatory accumulation using a different, politically-viable approach.”

That approach, the report argues, is to establish a Regulatory Improvement Commission (RIC) that would be tasked by Congress to review the cost-effectiveness of existing regulations. Modeled after the success of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), the RIC would review regulations as submitted by the public and pass along a recommendation to Congress on a package of 15-20 regulations. Once Congress votes on the package, in an up-or-down vote, the RIC would be dissolved until Congress decides to restart the process.

The RIC would be politically viable even in today’s charged Washington environment. It could independently take on regulatory reform in small pieces with no preconceived agenda, thus building trust over time.