Federal legislation that seeks to eliminate outdated regulations was passed in the House of Representatives last week. H.R. 1155, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, introduced by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), awaits a vote in the Senate.
The bill, which advanced with a 245-174 vote on Jan. 7, would establish a bipartisan commission to review existing federal regulations and identify those that should be repealed to reduce unnecessary business burdens.
The legislation prioritizes reviews of major regulations that have been in effect more than 15 years, impose paperwork burdens that could be reduced without diminishing regulatory effectiveness, or create disproportionately high costs for small businesses. Also targeted are rules: rendered obsolete by technological or market changes; that achieved their goals and can be repealed without issue; are ineffective; that overlap, duplicate, or conflict with other federal regulations or with state and local rules; or, impose costs that are not justified by their benefits.
The bipartisan review panel would, at least annually, recommend regulatory changes for approval by joint Congressional resolutions. The Commission is authorized to recommend either immediate repeal or repeal through “cut-go” procedures, whereby agencies would have to offset the costs of new regulations by repealing existing ones of an equal or greater cost. T
The SCRUB Act has a stated goal of reducing regulatory burdens by 15 percent. It is one of a series of initiatives in Congress that seek to reduce regulatory burden. July, Congress passed H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which includes a congressional review of new major regulations. Two similar bills, H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act and H.R. 1759, the ALERT Act, are also under consideration