This bill — known as the SCRUB Act — would establish a bipartisan commission to retroactively review existing major federal regulations that have been around for at least 15 years and determine which are no longer necessary or useful, or are disproportionately costly. Its goal would be to reduce the cost of a regulation by 15 percent with a minimal reduction in its effectiveness. It would seek out with a minimal reduction in the overall effectiveness of the regulation, impose high costs on small businesses, or could be strengthened while reducing their economic cost. Congress would be required to consider legislation repealing regulations it identifies before an agency repeals the rule in question, and the agency would be banned from reissuing new rules that are similar or result in the same negative effect without congressional approval.
The commission would consider whether the following criteria are met in deciding to eliminate regulations:
If the original purpose of the rule was achieved.
The implementation, compliance, administration, enforcement, imposition of unfunded mandates (which require state or local gov’ts to perform actions with no money provided to pay for it), or other costs aren’t justified by a cost-benefit analysis.
The rules have become unnecessary or obsolete.
The rules are ineffective at achieving their purpose.
The rules overlap, duplicate, or conflict with other federal, state or local rules.
The rules have excessive compliance costs, impose unfunded mandates, or are excessively burdensome compared to alternatives.
The rules inhibit innovation or harm competition.
The rules limit or prevent an agency from applying new or emerging technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government.
The rules harm wage growth, including that of minimum wage and part-time workers.
The commission would terminate on the later of five years and 180 days after this bill’s enactment or five years after the date on which all commission members begin their terms. It would operate a website to provide information to the public in a standard format, and receive and publish public comments at no cost.
Federal agencies would be required to repeal rules the commission identifies as recommended for repeal in order to offset the cost of new regulations it proposes. Agencies would be exempt from this requirement when it has implemented the repeal of all rules the commission recommended repealing. Additionally, agencies would have to include a plan for the review of a new rule within 10 years of it taking effect when the new rule is issued.
A major rule or regulation would be defined as one that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finds is likely to impose:
An annual economic cost of $100 million or more;
Increase prices or costs for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local governments, or geographic regions;
Significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based businesses to compete with foreign-based enterprises;
Significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy.
Members of the commission would be nominated by the top two lawmakers of each party in Congress, and the president would appoint nine total members to the commission. Candidates would have experience with the regulatory process.
In case you were wondering, the SCRUB Act is short for the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act.”