WASHINGTON – Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee advanced H.R. 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act (UMITA), introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-NC, along with three Democratic and one Republican cosponsors, on a vote of 22-17. The legislation reforms and strengthens the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA).
UMRA was enacted to promote informed and deliberate decisions by Congress and federal agencies on the appropriateness of federal mandates and to curb the practice of imposing unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments, and the private sector.
Last Congress, the Committee held three hearings to examine UMRA, finding it has been largely unsuccessful in living up to its original intent. Subcommittee Chairman James Lankford, R-Okla., chaired those hearings and is a cosponsor of UMITA.
“Excessive federal rules and regulations continue to find their way around existing law to further restrict states and business owners already burdened under the mountain of federal bureaucracy,” Chairman Lankford said. “The Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2013 will zero in on every future mandate to empower local governments and private businesses to push back on harmful regulations. This bill is a first step in an important overhaul effort for a more commonsense regulatory structure, which will increase transparency and efficiency.”
“The legislation is purely about making government work better for the American people by requiring openness and honesty from Washington about the true cost of regulations, whether those costs come in dollars,” said Representative Virginia Foxx, R-NC. “The Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act builds off of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and goes even further to make sure government is held accountable for considering how prospective regulations will impact small businesses and local governments.”
Click here for more information on the other bills considered at today’s business meeting.