Johnson, Committee Discuss Regulatory Reform

Congress must start addressing the country’s regulatory burden in a common-sense way, Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said as he opened a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday on regulatory reform.   

The hearing addressed six bills currently pending before the committee: 

  • S. 708, Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015
  • S. 1683, SCRUB Act of 2015
  • S. 1607, Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2015
  • S. 1817, Smarter Regulations Act of 2015
  • S. 1818, Principled Rulemaking Act of 2015
  • S. 1820, Early Participation in Regulations Act of 2015 

“These bills acknowledge that the root of the problem isn’t any one regulatory agency but a process that often lacks accountability and a connection to real-world impacts,” Johnson said. Beneficial opportunities for Americans — better jobs, better products and services at lower costs — are being thwarted by a profusion of federal regulations. Growth and expansion is discouraged instead of facilitated. 

Testifying Wednesday were Susan E. Dudley, director of the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, and Sidney A. Shapiro, a law professor and vice president of the Center for Progressive Reform. 

Dudley and Shapiro agreed on the need for the regulatory process to be streamlined. 

Johnson emphasized how well the committee has done in finding areas of agreement and passing common-sense legislation. He looks forward to doing the same in this area of regulatory reform and accountability. 

The committee tentatively plans to hold a mark-up on these bills in the next month. 

The chairman’s opening statement can be found here.

The full hearing video can be seen here.