Senators Initiate Regulatory Improvement Effort

Washington — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), ranking member of the subcommittee, initiated an effort Wednesday to review the effects of federal regulations from the perspective of job creators and other stakeholders.  The bipartisan goal of this initiative will be to review the cost, benefits and impact of regulations throughout the government.

The senators wrote in the letter, “As we heard repeatedly in a recent committee hearing, there is no central venue where businesses and citizens can voice their thoughts about regulations across the federal government. Our hope is that as we continue to hold hearings, conduct investigations and examine potential improvements, our committee will be a place where Americans feel their concerns are heard.” 

As part of the committee’s regulatory improvement effort, this project is a way to hear directly from the regulated community and stakeholders about what effect regulations and the regulatory process have on them. Responses will help the committee focus on those areas that are most in need of attention and develop commonsense solutions to problems in the regulatory process.

###

The full letter is shown below: 

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is initiating a review of the impact of federal regulations. The Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal regulatory policies and programs, is interested in understanding their real-world effects. As a part of this effort, it is important that we hear directly from a wide range of those affected by federal regulations every day. 

The significant impact of regulations has been acknowledged by officials across the political spectrum. For example, President Obama has recognized that they “play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. While those of us signing this letter may have different views about specific regulations, we all share the goal of an efficient and effective regulatory process that allows input by those affected by that process.       

As we heard repeatedly in a recent Committee hearing, there is no central venue where businesses and citizens can voice their thoughts about regulations across the federal government.  Our hope is that as we continue to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and examine potential improvements, our committee will be a place where Americans feel their concerns are heard.   

To that end we are requesting your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have had or will have a real impact on your organization. We ask that you identify concerns with the regulatory process, using where appropriate a description of how specific rules affect your organization or its members, the rules that you believe merit attention by the Committee, along with a description of how the rules affect your organization. In particular, the Committee is very interested in older regulations that may warrant modification or even revocation, the impact any significant delays in the regulatory process have had on your business or members of your organization, and any views you may have on the cumulative impact of regulations. The Committee also welcomes suggestions you may have to improve the regulatory process.  

Additionally, as part of the larger effort to gain better insight into how regulations affect every day Americans, we are launching the #CutRedTape online portal. A project of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, the portal will be accessible through the Committee website and facilitate ongoing input from the wider public.   

The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is authorized by Rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate to investigate “the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of all agencies and departments of the Government.”  Additionally, S. Res. 253 (113th Congress) and S. Res. 73 (114th Congress) authorize the Committee to examine “the efficiency and economy of all branches and functions of Government with particular references to the operations and management of Federal regulatory policies and programs.”  

We ask that you please submit your response as soon as possible, preferably no later than April 17, 2015 to: U.S. Senate, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Dirksen 340, Washington, DC 20510. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Josh McLeod in Chairman Johnson’s office at (202) 224-4751 or Kata Sybenga in Ranking Member Carper’s office at (202) 224-2627. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important request. 

Sincerely, 

Ron Johnson                                                
Chairman      

Thomas R. Carper
Ranking Member

James Lankford                                            
Chairman, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management            

Heidi Heitkamp
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management