Senators push for regulatory cost-benefit reviews

A group of senators, led by Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., last week introduced legislation that would require the government to report on the costs and benefits of federal regulatory programs to the public.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Sen. John Breaux, D-La., joined Thompson in introducing the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act of 1999. Last year, Thompson introduced the key provisions of a similar bill as an amendment to the omnibus 1999 appropriations bill, which passed in October.

It required the Office of Management and Budget to provide Congress with a report on the total annual benefits and costs of federal regulatory programs. The provision that passed only made the report a one-time requirement, for the Year 2000.

This session's legislation would require the federal government to provide reports on the benefits and costs of federal regulatory programs each year. It also would require OMB to analyze the impact of federal rules on small businesses, the private sector, government, wages and economic growth.

"This bill will hold federal regulators accountable and reduce needless waste and red tape," Thompson said. "It will help us find ways to better protect public health, safety and the environment and to ensure a stable economy."

Thompson said federal regulation costs about $700 billion a year, or $7,000 per American household.

"Every American has a right to know what their government is doing," Breaux said. "The goal of our bill is simple-to give Americans and Congress more information about what and how our government is regulating."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.