U.S. Chamber Urges Regulatory Review by Independent Agencies
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Concerned that some independent federal agencies were not included in President Obama’s recent executive order to review their regulations, Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue sent a letter to 13 agencies asking them to voluntarily review their books for unreasonable regulations.
“While we recognize that your agency is not subject to the executive order, we ask that you agree publicly to implement the order’s requirements, including undertaking a review of [the agency’s] existing regulations to identify those that are overly burdensome or have little benefit, consistent with the terms of the order,” Donohue wrote in the February 1 letter.
The letter was sent to the National Credit Union Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve System - Board of Governors, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Federal Maritime Commission.
The president signed an executive order on January 18 directing federal agencies to review existing regulations and identify those that place an unreasonable burden on businesses. The Chamber immediately welcomed the president’s original executive order, noting that it was a “positive first step,” and warning that “no major rule or regulation should be exempt from the review, including the recently enacted health care and financial reform laws.”
According to a White House spokesperson quoted in the Wall Street Journal, a formal guidance will soon be issued to all agencies, and will ask independent agencies to review their regulations as well.
The Chamber and other business groups have regularly pointed out that uncertainty surrounding regulations to implement the health care and financial reform laws, among others, has held back hiring and economic growth. At the federal level alone, regulations already fill 150,000 pages of fine-print text and cost Americans $1.7 trillion a year.