Hultgren pushes for reforms to hold government accountable for costly regulations
Government agencies institute mandates on individuals and businesses with little accountability for what it will cost Americans, and reforms are needed to ease the burden of onerous regulations and increase transparency in the rule-making process, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) recently told the Ripon Advance.
More than 600 major rules — those having an annual effect of $100 million or more — have been handed down since 2009 by President Barack Obama’s administration, with estimated implementation costs in the billions of dollars, Hultgren said.
“This harms our economy and, most importantly, it hurts families and the jobs they rely on in my district,” Hultgren, who represents Illinois’ 14th District, added.
As a result, Hultgren has co-sponsored the Providing Retrospective Observations Validating Economics and Increasing Transparency (PROVE IT) Act, H.R. 5513. The bill would require federal government agencies to provide regular and public evaluations of the impact of major regulations on Americans and the economy.
Agencies would be required to assess the impact of all major rule-makings every two years, inform Congress of any unanticipated negative consequences of the original rule and take into account input from all stakeholders.
Hultgren said that regulations that exceed projected costs force businesses to spend money on compliance rather than raising wages or creating more job opportunities.
Additionally, federal regulations now impose $15,000 in additional costs per U.S. household, Hultgren, who serves on the House Financial Services and Science, Space & Technology Committees, said.
“Families in the 14th District of Illinois are struggling to overcome stagnant incomes, rising prices and fewer jobs,” Hultgren said. “But when families and businesses are freed from burdensome and unnecessary regulations that harm growth, our communities succeed and our country prospers.”
Hultgren has a track record of supporting the streamlining of regulations that would bolster economic growth, authoring the Regulatory Review and Sunset Act, H.R. 2010, which would require federal agencies to analyze rules on the books and eliminate those that are obsolete, duplicative and conflicting.
Parts of the Regulatory Review and Sunset Act were incorporated into the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, H.R. 1155, which passed the House earlier this year.
Provisions from Hultgren’s bill included in the SCRUB Act include establishing a bipartisan commission to review existing federal regulations and identify those that should be “sunsetted” to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. The bill also calls for prioritizing for review regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more, as well as those that have been in effect more than 15 years and impose high costs on small businesses.
Policies that benefit small businesses serve to promote economic growth in local communities, Hultgren said. To support this effort, he authored the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act, H.R. 5374. The legislation would provide immediate tax relief and reduce administrative burdens on small businesses, which employ more than 2.4 million workers in Illinois alone.
Key provisions of the bill include a new 10 percent tax rate on a pass-through business’ first $150,000 in income and a 20 percent tax rate on a business’ first $1 million. The legislation would also include immediate expensing of all investment in equipment by pass-through businesses.
“It is time we give (small businesses) the freedom, means and flexibility to expand and create jobs. My bill will give these employers room to grow by giving them back time and resources,” Hultgren said.