Key lawmakers heard testimony on the problems posed by excessive federal regulations on Capitol Hill during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts.
Witnesses drew attention to overregulation’s effects on the economy, particularly in minority communities. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a senior member and former Chairman of the Committee, detailed legislation he recently introduced to eliminate outdated and unjustified regulations and spur job creation and economic growth.
“Federal regulations today impose—by some estimates—a burden of about $1.88 trillion dollars on the economy,” Sen. Hatch said, pointing to roughly $15,000 for every household in this country. “Too much regulation—especially too much outdated regulation—means higher prices, smaller paychecks, and fewer jobs for hard-working Americans.”
“To turn this longstanding bipartisan commitment to reduce our regulatory burden into a reality, we need to take the responsibility of clearing out old regulations away from the bureaucrats who keep failing at the job,” Sen. Hatch argued. Comparing the current system that relies on Washington bureaucrats to examine the effectiveness of their own rules to “foxes guarding a chicken coop,” Hatch offered his legislation as an innovative solution to the problem of overregulation: “That’s why I’ve introduced the SCRUB Act, which uses the successful model of the independent BRAC commission and applies it to get rid of a big chunk of our regulatory burden.”
Hatch also questioned witnesses Michael Barrera, National Economic Prosperity Manager at the LIBRE Institute, and Timothy Sandefur, Principal Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, on a variety of regulatory reform proposals. A long time advocate of reforming the nation’s broken regulatory system, Hatch has sponsored a number of such bills throughout his career. In addition to retrospective review of existing regulations, his current priorities include reducing judicial deference to administrative agencies to restore accountability to the regulatory process, which Hatch discussed extensively with Sandefur.