Paulsen Vote Tracker: H.R. 998, H.R. 1004 and H.R. 1009

H.R. 1004, the Regulatory Integrity Act, H.R. 1009, the OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act, and H.R. 998, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act 

SUMMARY:  H.R. 1004, is designed to chill legitimate agency communications with the public. The legislation is sets forth how the publication of information relating to pending regulatory actions is to be communicated to the public.  However, the bill appears to be another solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. There has been no indication that agencies are failing to publish information about pending regulatory action nor are agencies publishing this information in an inappropriate or unlawful manner. 

H.R. 1009 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act would create a new group led by an administrator appointed by the president, to monitor and evaluate the rulemaking process of various agencies, e.g, the EPA, FCC, etc.  The bill imposes additional burdensome reporting requirements on agencies engaged in rulemaking, making it difficult for agencies to efficiently promulgate new regulations. It would also undermine and politicize the role of independent agencies, which were created to operate free from political interference. 

H.R. 998 – The SCRUB Act  – would establish a “Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission,” consisting of political appointees, to identify regulations to eliminate or modify to “lower the cost to the economy.” When targeting regulations for elimination, the commission would consider only the costs associated with the rule, as opposed to a true cost-benefit analysis. For example, the bill directs the commission to consider if there is a less costly alternative to the rule—without requiring that they also consider the benefits of potential alternatives. See http://www.epi.org/blog/congress-is-laser-focused-on-rolling-back-protections-for-workers-consumers-and-the-environment/

Paulsen voted:  Yes to all three

TAKEAWAY: Don’t Republicans love to come up with cute names for their bad bills?  Paulsen’s vote is in line with Steve Bannon’s expressed desire to deconstruct government by making it increasingly difficult for the agency experts, like the scientists at the EPA, to do their job.