About the Problem

Most Americans agree we need common sense rules and regulations to protect citizens, preserve our environment and protect public safety. But the U.S. regulatory system is increasingly complex and incomprehensible and the costs are adding up.

The U.S. regulatory system does not automatically expire regulations. Unnecessary rules complicate an already complex code.


About the Policy

To prevent the accumulation of regulations that are unnecessary, counterproductive or too costly, require all regulations to sunset after 15 years, unless Congress explicitly acts to keep a particular regulation on the books.

Public Support

68% of All Polled
66% of Democrats
74% of Republicans
64% of Independents

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%

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3,378 rules and regulations were put into place in the Federal Register in 2015. 3,378. Another 2,334 rules were issued in 2015 and are still under consideration. The total: 5,712.

Many of those rules and regulations will eventually become irrelevant and outdated – surpassed by newer rules and regulations.

Most Americans agree that common sense regulations to protect citizens, preserve the environment, and protect public safety are necessary. But if the U.S. is pushing out over 5,000 regulations per year – the effects of that accumulation is staggering. The system becomes more and more complex, incomprehensible, and costly. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue, but a government efficiency problem.

A key reason for this accumulation? The U.S. regulatory system does not automatically expire regulations.

Lawmakers have made attempts to push forward “sunset bills” that would force Congress to reevaluate regulations after a certain period of time. but nothing has been effective as of yet. Presidents have tried freezing any pending regulations coming into office (as President Obama did upon entering office), but this does nothing but stall forthcoming regulation.

To simplify the matter No Labels proposes that in all cases regulations are sunset after 15 years unless Congress explicitly acts to keep them in place.
This would add a more deliberative element into our regulatory process, and help ensure that our regulatory system is not only comprehensive, but also efficient.