Monday, September 26, 2011

Collins Legislation Would Mandate One-Year Moratorium on Significant Federal Regulations

Legislation introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) would provide a one-year moratorium for significant regulations of federal executive and independent agencies. The Regulatory Time-Out Act, S 1538, would impose a one year moratorium on significant new regulations from going into effect if they would have an adverse impact on jobs, the economy, or US international competitiveness. Significant regulations include those costing more than $100 million per year. This definition is similar to definitions used by Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush in Executive Orders, said Senator Collins. The time-out applies to regulations issued by Executive Branch agencies and independent regulatory agencies.

The legislation would exempt regulations that address imminent threats to human health or safety or other emergencies, or that apply to the criminal justice system, military or foreign affairs. Under the legislation, a regulation cannot go into effect unless the issuing agency publishes, in the Federal Register, an explanation of why the rule is exempt from the moratorium. Regulations which foster private sector job creation and the enhancement of the competitiveness of the American worker, or which otherwise reduce the regulatory burden, are also exempt from the time-out.

Within 10 days of the effective date of the Regulatory Time-Out Act, agencies must submit to OMB and to Congress a list of rules which they believe are exempt.