Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

By:  Scott Garrett
Date: July 25, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GARRETT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act. At a time when new regulation after new regulation is being proposed by the Obama administration, it is critical that we restore some semblance of order to the regulatory process and ensure that our Nation's small businesses do not continue down in a sea of red tape.

I thank Congressman Griffin, Chairman Smith, Chairman Issa, Leader Cantor, and the Rules Committee for including the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act as part of title VI of this legislation. This legislation subjects the SEC to the President's executive order. What that does is require enhanced cost-benefit analysis requirements, as well as require a review of existing regulations.

Title VI will enhance the SEC existing cost-benefit analysis requirements by requiring the commission to first clearly identify a problem that would be addressed before issuing any new rules and to require that the cost-benefit analysis be performed by the SEC's chief economist.

While the SEC already has certain cost-benefit requirements relative to rulemaking, recent court decisions have simply vacated or remanded several of these rules and have specifically pointed out deficiencies in the Commission's use of cost-benefit analysis. For example, recently the SEC Inspector General issued a report that expressed several concerns he had about the quality of the SEC's cost-benefit analysis. It found absolutely none of the rulemaking it examined attempted to quantify either benefits or costs, other than information and collection costs. This bill now will ensure that the benefits of any rulemaking outweigh the costs, and that both new and existing regulations are accountable, consistent, written in plain language, and simply easy to understand.

Title VI also will require the SEC to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of simply not regulating, and choose the approach that maximizes the benefits.

Under the bill, the SEC shall also evaluate whether a proposed regulation is inconsistent, whether it is incompatible, or duplicates other Federal regulation, as well. Because some regulations have been politicized in the past, this bill will require that the examinations be done by the Commission's chief economist.

These are really just commonsense reforms and are appropriate, especially given the fact that the Commission continues to struggle with this issue. For instance, the D.C. Court of Appeals, which vacated the Commission's proxy access rule, stated: ``The commission acted arbitrarily and capriciously for having failed once again to adequately assess the economic effects of a new rule'' and also ``inconsistently and opportunistically framed costs and benefits of the rule.''

Mr. Chairman, this bill also includes a new section adopted by the subcommittee to provide a clearer post-implementation assessment of all new regulations so that these post-implementation cost-benefit analyses, in addition to pre-implementation, will be done correctly.

Finally, it's a commonsense approach, and it's a pragmatic approach to a rulemaking process. I support the underlying legislation.

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