Regulatory Reform in the 114th and 115th Congresses
Editor’s Note: A must read article on the regulatory budget. The author states:
“Finally, it bears noting that, while many of the bills discussed in this paper would be a welcome down payment on comprehensive reform, none by themselves will be sufficient to curb the growth of the regulatory state.”
An accurate point but the regulatory budget is the only mechanism which places a ceiling on the size of the regulatory states. Also see
Early U.S. prototypes of regulatory-budgeting regimes appeared as early as the Carter administration, but the idea has gained particular traction since President Trump’s EO 13771, which mandates a type of regulatory budget for agencies going forward. Like other regulatory-reform efforts initiated by the executive branch, congressional buy-in likely would prove vital to sustain a long-term regulatory budgeting regime. Furthermore, as the most democratically accountable branch of government—and the one responsible for setting the fiscal budget—it would be best to task Congress with responsibility to set the regulatory cost caps for each agency.
The Regulatory Budget Act would have accomplished these goals by amending the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to require Congress to vote on the total regulatory costs each federal agency could impose on business and individuals. The bill also would have created enforcement mechanisms to ensure that agencies adhered to their budget limits, including allowing points of order to be raised against legislation that ran afoul of the budget caps; creating private rights of action in federal court against agencies that violate their limits; and establishing requirements that appropriations legislation contain enforcement mechanisms.