Excessive regulations remain a recurring point of contention in the world of policy, politics and let's not forget jobs creation. A roundup, including news about an important congressional markup today:
President Obama, news conference, Nov. 14, Kapolei, Hawaii:
[We’re] redoubling our efforts to make sure that regulations are encouraging trade and job creation, not discouraging trade and job creation. And this builds on the work that we’re doing in the United States to get rid of rules and regulations that are unjustified and that are overly burdensome.
American Action Forum, "The Week in Regulation: November 7-10"
A record week for new paperwork burden hours pushed the yearly total to 116.3 million hours. Dodd-Frank’s controversial “Volcker rule,” CFTC’s final Derivatives Clearing Organization rule, and a measure taxing Christmas trees added to a busy four days in the Federal Register....[snip]
Administrative agencies proposed 58 rules and implemented 71 final rules. Federal agencies issued 13 new documents “deemed significant under [Executive Order] 12866,” bringing the yearly total to 539 according to the Federal Register; the federal government has issued 70,320 pages of regulations in 2011.
Announcement of subcommittee markup, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, noon today.
Markup of H.R. 2586, the Swap Execution Facility Clarification Act; H.R. 2779, To exempt inter-affiliate swaps from certain regulatory requirements put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; H.R. 3045, the Retirement Income Protection Act of 2011; H.R. 1838, To repeal a provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act prohibiting any Federal bailout of swap dealers or participants; H.R. 2308, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act.
Business Roundtable recently submitted comments on CFTC regulations of end-users' ability to use derivatives to manage risk, topics embraced in several of the bills above. The final bill, H.R. 2308, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, does the following, according to the CRS bill summary:
SEC Regulatory Accountability Act - Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), before promulgating a regulation or issuing any order, to: (1) identify the nature and significance of the problem that the proposed regulation is designed to address in order to assess whether any new regulation is warranted; (2) use the Office of the Chief Economist to assess the costs and benefits of the intended regulation and and adopt it only on a determination that its benefits justify the costs; and (3) ensure that any regulation is accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand.
Directs the SEC to review its regulations and orders periodically to determine their efficacy and whether to modify or repeal them.
In July, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reproved the SEC for failing to perform the statutorily-mandated economic analysis of its proxy access rule, agreeing with the legal arguments by Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the Dodd-Frank regulation should be vacated. (BRT statement.)
Which brings us to comments by Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, quoted in a page one piece Monday in The Washington Post, "Does government regulation really kill jobs?"
“I think it is very important to make sure regulations are compatible with our economic goals. But the idea of brandishing ‘job-killing regulations’ as a near-epithet is probably less nuanced than is ideal.”
Agreed, more or less, but we live in a political world where nuance often fails. It's not reasonable to demand those affected by regulation argue, "These 'additional-burdens-on-economic-activity-having-a-cumulative-negative-effect-on-job-creation regulations should be withdrawn.'"
In a positive, epithet-free contribution to the policy debate, Business Roundtable CEOs have proposed a set of principles and practices that federal regulatory agencies should adopt, "Smarter Regulation," emphasizing cost-benefit analysis, regulatory transparency and streamlined permitting. In September BRT released a report that explained how this more balanced approach would aid U.S. competitiveness, helping to create jobs while achieving legitimate regulatory goals.
Topics: Regulatory Reform.
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