Review Existing Regulations and Reduce Them by 25%
About the Problem
Most Americans agree we need common sense rules and regulations to protect citizens, preserve our environment and promote public safety. But increasing complexity of the U.S. regulatory system is an economic burden.
About the Policy
Set up a bipartisan commission to review existing federal regulations with the goal of reducing them by 25%. Deliver findings within the first year of the next president’s term.
Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%
The Code of Federal Regulations is over 175,000 pages long, but only a fraction of those pages involves regulations related to legislation.
Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute reports that “since the early 1940s, Congress has been permitted by the Supreme Court to tell regulatory agencies to create rules that are ‘generally fair and equitable’ or ‘just and reasonable’ or that prohibit ‘unfair methods of competition’ or ‘excessive profits,’ and leave it to the regulators to make up whatever rules they think serve those lofty goals.”
Some of these are silly, like the 2011 Equine Equality Rule which requires all hotels, restaurants and airlines to “modify policies, practices or procedures” to accommodate miniature horses as service animals. But when silly rules pile up, it gets serious.
Unnecessary regulations cost small business big, and make it both harder to start and harder to compete as an American small business owner. After sifting through the code to understand what applies to a particular business, paying the related costs to remain compliant and forfeiting related fees if a rule is broken, 72 percent of small businesses report that regulations hurt their operating environment, and 54 percent of business owners say China and India are more supportive of their businesses than the United States.
Refining the code to make it more efficient and more effective is a completely bipartisan concept – when No Labels polled this specific plan in 2016, more than 60% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans and 69% of independents supported the idea.
The next president can build on that growing bipartisan momentum by creating a commission with leadership from both parties to investigate opportunities to reduce unnecessary, inefficient or redundant policy. By creating a commission to recommend options for improvement, the next administration could take positive steps toward improving our regulatory and business environments, strengthening our economy and generally improving our legal system.
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