FreedomWorks is pleased to recognize the REVIEW Act of 2022 as our August 2022 Bill of the Month. REVIEW stands creatively for “Require Evaluation before Implementing Executive Wishlists”. It was introduced earlier this month by Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-1) and currently has five co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
- Under the Administrative Procedures Act and other federal statutes, federal agencies issue regulations to enforce federal law. The breadth and scope of these regulations, as well as the subject matter and enforcement practices, are usually, if not always, based on the President’s priorities.
- Presidential administrations of both parties have enacted important or highly effective regulations that are costing the economy and consumers billions of dollars.
- According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, President Trump’s administration released “2,964 final rules in 2019, which was the lowest number since records began in the 1970s and the only number below 3,000 on record.” In 2020 there was a slight increase to 3,353 final rules, but still well below the average number of around 4,000.
- The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, DC jointly estimate that agencies spent $88 billion in fiscal year 2020 to manage and regulate the federal regulatory state monitor.
- According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) annual report, the total cost of regulatory compliance exceeded $1.9 trillion in 2020.
- In 2021, President Biden’s administration promulgated 3,257 final rules.
- Larger regulations are harmful and costly for the economy. Rarely do their benefits outweigh their costs. To stave off the cost of complying with these onerous regulations, corporations and small businesses are charging consumers and raising the prices of goods or services.
- Consumers end up paying more for the same or lesser good or service in order for the business or small business to comply with the regulation.
- As these ordinances go into effect 30 or 60 days after they are posted in the Federal Register, plaintiffs across the country are rushing to obtain an injunction from a court to prohibit the agency from enforcing the ordinance. Sometimes, as in the case of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, plaintiffs lose multiple trials before the Supreme Court can remedy the situation. By this time, however, the plaintiffs have already expended time and money to comply with an illegal rule.
- Some key regulations that have been very costly to the economy in recent years are: the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which the Environmental Protection Agency estimates would cost over $8 billion; the Trump and Biden moratorium on evictions government, which would cost at least $20 billion, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration employer’s vaccination mandate, which would cost at least $3 billion over a six-month period.
- If the provision is unlawful, why must plaintiffs rush to court and hope that a district court will agree with them that the agency did not have the legal authority they claim? Why should corporations and small businesses spend time and money complying with rules that almost everyone agrees are illegal in the first place?
- The REVIEW Act defers the effective date of all high-impact regulations until all cases challenging their legality are resolved.
- High-impact regulations are defined as regulations that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget (Administrator) determines “can impose an annual cost on the economy of not less than $1,000,000,000.” In other words, if the regulation costs the economy more than 1 billion
- Administrator is a position within the executive branch in the Office of Management and Budget subject to Senate confirmation process.
- How does the process work? The authority that published the rule submits it to the administrator. The administrator determines whether the rule is a high impact rule. This determination will be published by the Agency with the final rule.
- If no one requests a judicial review of the rule, the rule becomes effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
Rep. Jack Bergman’s REVIEW Act is an intelligent and thoughtful response to a growing and out-of-control administrative state. It is silly and wrong to force corporations and small businesses to comply with regulations that almost everyone agrees are illegal once they are published in the Federal Register. Therefore, Congress should pass the REVIEW Act to prevent highly effective regulations from going into effect until (if) a court approves them and to deter federal agencies from promulgating such costly and unfair regulations.