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Regulatory Pay-Go Open Access

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Over the last thirty years, most legislative and executive branch efforts at regulatory reform havefocused on analyzing and improving new regulations, and agencies seldom look back to evaluate whether existing regulations are having their intended effects. Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act provides for periodic review of regulations for their impact on small businesses, but researchers have found that most agencies “comply with the letter of the law for only a small percentage of their rules, and they rarely take action beyond publishing a brief notice in the Federal Register.” Senator Mark Warner hopes to change that. He is drafting legislation focused on altering regulatory agencies‟ incentives to issue new regulations and examine the effectiveness of existing regulations. His legislation “would require federal agencies to identify and eliminate one existing regulation for each new regulation they want to add.” Under his “regulatory pay-go system,” regulatory agencies, with oversight from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and either the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or the Government Accountability Office (GAO), would catalogue existing regulations and develop estimates of their economic impacts. Then, before issuing a new regulation, agencies would be required to eliminate one outdated or duplicative regulation of the same approximate economic impact.

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