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House Passes Second Regulatory Reform Bill Sponsored by Smith

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The House of Representatives today passed legislation to reform the federal regulatory process and reduce unnecessary burdens on job creators by a vote of 253-167. The Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 3010), places permanent restrictions on regulatory agencies and restores accountability by requiring openness and transparency in the regulatory process.

The bipartisan, bicameral effort is the first of its kind in more than a decade to reform and minimize regulations that stifle economic growth. H.R. 3010 is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.), and Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Senate companion legislation was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

Chairman Smith: "Government regulation has become a barrier to economic growth and job creation. According to the Small Business Administration, regulations cost the American economy $1.75 trillion annually. And the Obama administration only seeks to add billions more to the cost. By its own admission, the Administration's 2011 regulatory agenda contains 200 regulations that typically will affect the economy by $100 million or more per year.

"Faced with huge new regulatory burdens and uncertainties about what will come next, employers slow down hiring, stop investing and wait for a bill. Government should lift the burden on small businesses, not weigh them down with more regulations.

"The Regulatory Accountability Act will help free up small businesses and employers to spend more, invest more, and produce more to create more jobs for American workers."

For decades, presidents of both parties have issued executive orders to produce less burdensome regulations. This bill makes the principles of those bipartisan directives permanent, enforceable, and applicable to all regulatory agencies, including independent agencies. The Regulatory Accountability Act requires agencies to tailor new regulations to impose the least cost necessary to achieve policy goals set out by Congress. And the bill requires agencies to hold formal hearings to test the assumptions and evidence on which the costliest new rules are based.

This is the second bill considered by the House this week to help reduce the regulatory burden on America's job creators. The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (H.R. 527) passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 263-159. The bill requires federal agencies to identify and reduce the costs new regulations would impose on small businesses.

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