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Congressman Jason Smith

Representing the 8th District of Missouri

Congressman Jason Smith Introduces SCRUB Act to Fight Regulatory Burdens

Jun 18, 2014
Press Release
Legislation establishes a bipartisan, Blue-Ribbon commission to review regulations and make recommendation for repeal

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 4874 the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2014, or SCRUB Act, sponsored by Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO). Smith filed the SCRUB Act in an effort to fight ineffective and intrusive federal regulations that are holding back private sector job creation and economic growth.

“Regulations from Washington are hurting job growth and keeping our economy from growing. Studies have estimated that every American household is burdened with $15,000 in regulatory costs each year,” said Smith. “The SCRUB Act is designed to identify and eliminate outdated and ineffective regulations. The legislation put a bipartisan, BRAC-style commission in place to review regulations and make recommendations for repeal.”

At the end of 2013, the Code of Federal Regulations contained 175,000 pages of regulations. Smith introduced the SCRUB Act to combat excessive regulations after seeing the impact the rules were having on families, small businesses and farmers in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.

“Our Eighth Congressional District and all of rural America are under a regulatory attack from Washington bureaucrats. The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor and other beltway bureaucrats are trying to regulate everything from how we generate power, to kids helping out on the family farm,” said Smith. “News reports always talk about the divide between Republicans and Democrats but there is an equal divide in Washington between rural and urban interests. The SCRUB Act will help protect rural America from intrusive regulations that are hurting our rural way of life.”

SCRUB Act Background:

The Problem: The Accumulated Weight of Federal Regulations Is Holding Back Job Creation and Economic Growth

  • Too much regulation, especially too much outdated regulation, means higher prices, lower wages, and fewer jobs for hardworking Americans, as well as less American economic growth.
  • Federal regulations now impose an estimated burden of $1.86 trillion. That equals roughly $15,000 per U.S. household and 11.5% of America’s 2012 GDP. It is more than $300 billion higher than combined individual and corporate federal income taxes and equivalent to 85 percent of U.S. corporate profits in 2013.
  • As of the end of 2013, the Code of Federal Regulations contained a massive 175,000 pages of regulations in 235 volumes. Surely, many of these regulations can be repealed to lower costs to American workers and American job creators without an undue loss in regulatory effectiveness.

The Solution: the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2014” (SCRUB Act). The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act – the SCRUB Act – provides a powerful, fair, bipartisan means to reduce the unnecessary costs of existing regulation:

  • Establishes a bipartisan, Blue-Ribbon, BRAC-style commission to review existing federal regulations and identify those that should be repealed to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.
  • Sets the Commission’s goal to be the reduction of at least 15 percent in the cumulative costs of federal regulation with a minimal reduction in the overall effectiveness of such regulation.
  • Specifies that the Commission shall give priority in its review to regulations that are major rules, more than 15 years old, impose paperwork burdens that can be reduced substantially without significantly diminishing regulatory effectiveness, impose disproportionately high costs on small entities, or could be strengthened in their effectiveness while reducing regulatory costs.
  • Establishes key additional factors to be taken into account when identifying regulations for repeal (e.g., the regulations have: been rendered obsolete by technological or market changes; achieved their goals and can be repealed without target problems recurring; are ineffective; overlap, duplicate or conflict with other federal regulations or with state and local regulations; or, impose costs that are not justified by benefits produced for society within the United States).
  • Requires that annual and final Commission recommendations of regulations be presented to Congress for approval by joint resolutions of Congress. If Congress votes to approve the Commission’s recommendations, repeal must take place.
  • For any given regulation, the Commission is authorized to recommend either immediate repeal or repeal through “cut-go” procedures, whereby agencies, on a forward basis, would have to offset the costs of new regulations by repealing Commission-identified regulations of equal or greater cost. These procedures allow immediate repeal in the most urgent cases and staggered repeals of other regulations to assure a smoother process for agencies and affected entities.