Law Professor Testifies Before the House Judiciary Committee on Critical Business Regulatory Bill

News Release: Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jonathan Adler, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve School of Law, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial, and Administrative Law regarding proposed legislation to assert greater legislative control over regulatory policy. The testimony focused on regulatory accountability and congressional oversight of new executive branch regulations related to a proposal called the REINS Act – Promoting Jobs and Expanding Economic Freedom by Reducing Needless Regulations. The Act would require an up-or-down vote by Congress on every new major federal agency rule before it can be enforced.

“This is a tremendously important issue,” says Adler. “Federal regulation has been accumulating at a rapid pace for decades. In 2009 alone, federal agencies finalized over 3500 new federal regulations. The growth has imposed significant costs on American consumers and businesses. “

A cost estimated to exceed a trillion dollars a year, which Adler cautions is substantially more than Americans pay each year in individual income taxes. He says the fact that regulations like taxes can both impose substantial costs and generate substantial benefits makes it that much more important that there be political accountability for federal regulatory decisions.

“Excessive delegation can undermine political accountability for regulatory decisions and allow regulatory agencies to adopt policies that do not align with Congressional intent or public concerns,” he told the Committee.

Adler concluded his testimony by stating the REINS Act is a way to increase Congressional accountability regulatory policy and curbing unnecessary regulations, but would not be an obstacle to needed regulatory measures supported by the public.

Watch Adler’s testimony Executive Branch Regulations & Congressional Oversight on C-SPAN

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Posted by: Carolyn Widdowson, January 25, 2011 08:08 PM | News Topics: Official Release