Coating manufacturers are “closely monitoring” two federal bills that would place a moratorium on all new federal rules and bar President Obama and future presidents from issuing “midnight regulations” at the end of their terms.
Office of Rep. Darrell Issa
|Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), co-sponsor of the Regulatory Freeze bill, notes that his version of the bill includes an expiration date. A similar bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee does not.|
The American Coatings Association says it is keeping watch on the progress of H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012, and H.R. 4607, the Midnight Rule Relief Act of 2012, which were recently approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Based on similar legislation approved in March by the House Judiciary Committee, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act would impose a regulatory freeze for two years or until the unemployment rate falls to 6 percent or lower, whichever comes first.
Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), who co-sponsored the measure, stressed that his version of the bill (unlike the Judiciary version) included several exceptions— for example, to allow agencies to finalize rules if the president deems them necessary to address an “imminent threat” to health or safety, or to enforce criminal laws.
Issa’s version also provides exemptions for rules needed to address national security, those that implement an international trade agreement, or actions an agency needs to take to repeal an existing rule.
ACA also notes that Issa’s bill would end the moratorium two years after enactment, whereas the House Judiciary version sets no expiration date and could remain in place for years, as long as unemployment remained above 6 percent.
The Republican-led committee defeated virtually all Democratic amendments proposed for the bill.
The Midnight Rule Relief Act would ban “lame duck” regulations issued between a president’s defeat in the November election and Jan. 20 of the following year, when a successor is inaugurated.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “have been outspoken on this issue,” according to ACA, cautioning President Obama against issuing “last-minute controversial or economically significant regulations” that “would distract a new Congress and potentially a new administration” from taking action on the economy.
White House Photo
|In January 2011, President Obama (with Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator Cass Sunstein) announced an Executive Order to regulatory agencies to review any rules that were outdated or duplicative.|
The Obama administration says it has taken a balanced approach to regulation. In January 2011, Obama issued an executive order directing federal agencies and departments to review and revise existing rules to make their regulatory programs more effective or less burdensome.
The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Midnight Rule bill, and Democrats say both bills have little hope of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Contact ACA’s Alison Keane for more information.