Oversight Republicans launch sweeping examination of business regs to aid in economic recovery

Published: Jul 17, 2020

On Friday, in an effort to hasten and strengthen America’s recovery from the economic crisis driven by coronavirus lockdowns, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) launched a sweeping inquiry into government regulations and their impacts on recovery, going back to the global financial crisis of 2008.

In order to conduct this wide-ranging survey, Ranking Member Comer is writing to a long list of businesses and trade associations to “document what has worked and what hasn’t since the time of the Committee’s last initiative of this kind, which took place in 2011.”

Initial recipients of the letter include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Agricultural Retailers Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Coal Council, American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association, and many others. The Committee will send similar letters to others in the coming days. A full list of Friday morning’s recipients can be found below.

Key excerpts from the letters:

As our Nation attempts to recover from the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to examine the impacts of regulation and regulatory reform since our last, similar shock, the Financial Crisis of 2008. We must be sure not to repeat mistakes that followed the last crisis, and we must be vigilant to continue with what has succeeded. 

Possible examples, for good or for ill, abound from the time since 2008. Some are widely known; others are not. The aim is to learn not only of the obvious examples, but to assemble a comprehensive set of information rooted in real-world experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

With your help, it will be possible to examine concretely the effects of the Obama Administration’s regulatory expansion and the Trump Administration’s regulatory relief initiatives, as well as to capture a sense of what regulatory developments will be most important to promote or avoid over the course of the next several years.

We are writing to you and businesses and associations like yours or your members’ because you are the ones on the front lines of regulatory impacts. As outdated or inefficient regulations and programs are lifted or improved, you or your members experience first-hand the ways in which businesses are able to provide more jobs, goods and services that benefit us all.

Read an example of the letters sent out here.

List of businesses and associations contacted so far:

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Alliance for Automotive Innovation

American Coal Council

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Forest and Paper Association

American Gas Association

American Petroleum Institute

Associated Builders and Contractors

Edison Electric Institute

Household and Commercial Products Association

Independent Petroleum Association of America

National Mining Association

National Restaurant Association

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Portland Cement Association

Associated General Contractors of America

Consumer Brands Association

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Manufacturers

National Black Chamber of Commerce

National Federation of Independent Business

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Agricultural Retailers Association

American Chemistry Council

American Coatings Association

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

American Home Furnishings Alliance

American Iron and Steel Institute

Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Brick Industry Association

Business Roundtable

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

International Dairy Food Association

Metal Treating Institute

Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association

National Asphalt Pavement Association

National Association of Chain Drugstores

National Automobile Dealers Association

North American Meat Institute

Plastics Industry Association

Plumbing Manufacturers Institute

The Aluminum Association

The Fertilizer Institute

The Methanol Institute

Window and Door Manufacturers Association

American Bankers Association

Hardwood Lumber Association

National Retail Federation

Background:

This regulatory relief effort will help to chronicle and build on the already historic deregulatory actions taken by the Trump Administration to help American businesses and families by driving down costs and allowing the American economy to flourish.

Under the current administration, seven deregulatory actions have been taken for every new regulation, which has led to $50 billion in regulatory cost savings. These include:

  • Providing relief to millions of farmers, ranchers, and businesses while also protecting water cleanliness by reversing the Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
  • Replacing the Obama administration’s harmful CAFE fuel efficiency standards for vehicles with the much improved SAFE Vehicles Rule.
  • Ending the war on coal by revoking the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and replacing it with with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.
  • Helping truck drivers by modernizing Hours of Service Rules to maintain safety and increase flexibility.
  • Doing away with an onerous Obama-era rule that would have banned affordable incandescent lightbulbs.
  • Restoring internet freedom by overturning burdensome net neutrality rules.
  • Scaling back the expensive Affordable Care Act and expanding access to flexible, affordable alternatives like Association Health Plans and Short-Term, Limited-Duration plans.