Opening Statement of Chairman Ron Johnson: “A Review of Regulatory Reform Proposals”

As submitted for the record: 

Good morning and welcome. 

The stated mission of this committee is to enhance the economic and national security of America. And when I look around this country, I see the layer upon layer upon layer of federal regulations as a threat to America’s economic security. Today’s hearing is another step in this committee’s ongoing work examining the regulatory system and identifying ways to improve it. 

Specifically, we will be looking into several legislative proposals – each developed on a bipartisan basis – aimed at sensibly addressing our regulatory problem. These are not aimed at any one regulation or agency. Rather, these are reforms of the rule-making system. 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. 

According to the Congressional Research Service, “the number of final rules published each year is generally in the range of 2,500-4,500,” with the Code of Federal Regulation amounting to more than 100 million words. As such, we will be discussing improvements to the rule-making process that ensure the most costly rules are subject to appropriate scrutiny and public input. 

I agreed with President Obama when he said we need to “clear out some of the [regulatory] underbrush. …That’s something that should be non-ideological.” That is why this set of proposals today also includes mechanisms for meaningful look-backs so that rules that are no longer serving a purpose can be removed or modified. 

The legislative proposals we are reviewing today are all commonsense steps toward a fairer, more efficient, and economically productive regulatory system. I look forward to discussion with my colleagues on the committee on ways to further improve these proposals as we continue forward in bipartisan way in the legislative process.                    

Thank you. I look forward to your testimony.