House Passes Bill to Improve Transparency of Unfunded Mandates

Published: Feb 4, 2015

Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act heads to the Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act [H.R. 50]. The legislation makes improvements to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), bringing greater transparency to the costs and obligations passed on to states, localities, and the private sector through unfunded mandates.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz Speaks in Support of H.R. 50

Specifically, H.R. 50 will:

  • close loopholes in UMRA and require more comprehensive cost estimates
  • extend UMRA requirements, including cost-benefit analyses, to independent regulatory agencies
  • codify principles of regulation in Executive Order 12866, as well as cost-benefit analysis, which were reaffirmed by President Obama in Executive Order 13563
  • require agencies to conduct UMRA analyses, regardless of whether they issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, closing a loophole that allowed agencies to forego analyses on nearly half of all final rules
  • enable the chairman or ranking member of any Congressional committee to request an agency conduct a retrospective analysis of an existing federal regulatory mandate
  • extend judicial review to the selection of the least costly/least burdensome regulatory alternative and to whether the agency adhered to the principles of EO12866
  • require agencies to consult with state, local, and tribal governments in the development of significant regulatory mandates
  • extend the consultation requirement to the private sector
  • allow the chairman or ranking member of any Congressional committee to request the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to conduct an assessment comparing the authorized level of funding in a bill to the prospective costs of carrying out any changes to a condition of federal assistance
  • reflect current CBO practices by expanding the definition of direct costs to ensure costs include forgone profits, costs passed on to consumers, and behavioral changes

 

BACKGROUND:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a markup on H.R. 50 on January 27, 2015.