A New Commission to Kill Regs Quietly Heads to House Floor for Approval
Thursday, February 16, 2017 1:14 PM
While public attention is elsewhere, changes are happening in D.C. committee rooms that could have far-reaching impacts.
The SCRUB Act (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome), which would approve establishing an unelected nine-member commission to identify regulations that they think should be overturned and provide $30 million to fund the effort, was passed at the House committee level on Tuesday. Attempts to reign in the power of the commission to exclude rolling back Clean Air Act regulations, whistleblower protections, and ethical conflicts failed.
House members opposed to SCRUB are also concerned that the commission will essentially set up a new bureaucracy that duplicates agency efforts and that has broad authority to subpoena documents and witnesses, according to E&E News.
Two other regulatory reform bills are also headed to the House floor for a vote. The Regulatory Integrity Act would restrict the ability of federal agencies to communicate with the public about proposed rules, and the OIRA Insight, Reform and Accountability Act would create a new working group to review proposed regulations. Opponents are concerned about a provision that shifts oversight authority away from Congress and under the authority of the president, according to E&E News.
If the House votes to approve the bills, the Senate would need 60 votes for passage, unless the Republican-controlled Senate rewrites the rules to allow passage on a straight majority vote.