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house Bill H.R. 300

Should More Info About the Cost of Federal Mandates in Bills & Regulations be Available to Congress & the Public?

Argument in favor

Congress and federal agencies need to be transparent to the public about the costs imposed by federal mandates contained in the legislation or regulation they implement.This bipartisan bill would ensure those costs are publicly available for all regulations.

samiam6's Opinion
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02/22/2019
Transparency or corruption, that's the choice.
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Tim's Opinion
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02/22/2019
How is this not already available? Web based tool like Countable should let any citizen or congressperson look at spending
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Temujin's Opinion
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02/22/2019
We need more congressional transparency. This is one small step towards that.
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Argument opposed

This bill is nothing more than an attempt to slow down and sabotage the rulemaking process federal agencies use to make regulations that’d lead to watered down environmental and consumer protections.

singinghawk926's Opinion
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02/22/2019
The fact that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) supports this bill is a red flag for me. This organization’s wholesale restructuring of hundreds of local and state laws along the principles of favoritism to corporate interests makes me wonder if they are attempting to move their dangerous tactics to the national level. For those unfamiliar with ALEC, the following wiki will help clarify who and what it is: https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC%3F This bill, as outlined here, will codify current CBO policy into law: “The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) current policy of accounting a for specific. Costs of federal mandates—such as foregone business profits, costs passed onto consumers and other entities or behavioral changes —would be codified into law. Congressional committee chairmen and ranking members would be granted authority request that the CBO perform analyses comparing the authorized levels of funding in bills or resolutions with the potential loss of federal aid dollars when mandate compliance is a condition for that aid.” I would interpret this as excessive legislative control over executive functions. I would support providing, as supportive information to the legislators considering this bill, the CBO estimates of said “costs of federal mandates” as part of the costs associated with passage of the bill which they are considering. Codifying such information into law is out of the question! Separation of powers!
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Ken's Opinion
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02/22/2019
This seems like a trick question. In today’s hostile political environment we are lead to believe by our new authoritarian type government that profit and safety and a clean environment cannot coexist. This is a very dangerous slippery slope. Safety and environment must be given priority.
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Dave's Opinion
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02/22/2019
Nothing more than to weaken, slow down and water down environmental protection impact to public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. Basically, they would be force to do a cost Analysis at tax payer experience. Fast track to climate change and flint Michigan. Polluters are us! The devils in the details.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 300?

This bill would aim to increase the information available to Congress & the public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. It’d require agencies to measure a proposed rule’s annual effect on the economy, not just “expenditures”, and to conduct an Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) analysis unless a law expressly prohibits them doing so. UMRA analyses would be required for all final rules, even those that weren’t subject to a public comment period.

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) current policy of accounting for specific costs of federal mandates — such as foregone business profits, costs passed onto consumers and other entities or behavioral changes — would be codified into law. Congressional committee chairmen and ranking members would be granted authority to request that the CBO perform analyses comparing the authorized levels of funding in bills or resolutions with the potential loss of federal aid dollars when mandate compliance is a condition for that aid.

Federal agencies would be required to consult with private sector entities, like small businesses, that’ll be directly impacted by proposed regulations in the same way they do with state, local, and tribal governments. Agencies would be required to include an appendix in their annual reports to Congress detailing their regulatory consultation with state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) would be responsible for determining whether agencies have satisfied UMRA’s cost disclosure requirements. It’d allow the judicial branch to place a stay on regulations or invalidate rules if the originating federal agency fails to complete statutorily required UMRA analyses.

Impact

The public; the private sector; state, local, and tribal governments; Congress; and federal agencies, particularly the CBO.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 300

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost $6 million over the 2019-2023 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to make more information about the costs of federal mandates in regulations or legislation available to the public and Congress:

“Every year Washington imposes thousands of rules on local governments and small businesses. Hidden in those rules are costly mandates that stretch small businesses. Hidden in those rules are costly mandates that stretch state and city budgets and make it harder for businesses to hire. This legislation will help restore transparency and hold Washington bureaucrats accountable for the true cost — in dollars and in jobs — that federal dictates pose to the economy. Americans are better served when regulators are required to measure and consider the costs of the rules they create. Six years of work have gone into advancing this legislation, and there should be no further delay to its passage. Times are tight for families across this country. Millions of Americans remain unemployed, and many more still rely on small businesses and local governments for jobs, health care, public safety, and education. Washington should think carefully before it decrees regulation that could siphon from the limited dollars cities and small businesses use to keep people employed and localities functioning.”

Last Congress, original cosponsor Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) added:

“This follows the work I did in the Texas State Legislature, where I also passed legislation to stop unfunded mandates from the state government to local governments. We want to help our local governments and businesses by relieving unnecessary and costly red tape so that budgets, projects and jobs aren’t halted. This bill would require the federal government to measure and consider the total cost of the regulations they impose.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has supported this bill in past Congresses, writing:

"When the federal government institutes new regulations, local and state agencies are left to identify and meet implementation costs on their own. This is a significant burden to state and local governments, as well as to businesses. In 2015 more than 80,000 pages were added to the Federal Register at a cost to the U.S. economy of $1.8 trillion annually. Congresswoman Foxx [is]  adamant that [this]  is 'NOT an anti-regulation bill' but rather 'a bill to make our regulatory apparatus more effective.'... [This bill] will help increase awareness at federal agencies of the steep price in dollars and lost jobs of regulatory requirements... Without clear, transparent and accountable rules, state and local agencies will continue to bear the burden of federal policies. [This bill] is designed to make the regulatory process efficient, effective, and transparent so that regulations can maximize benefits and limit costs."

Last Congress, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) expressed opposition to this bill in its committee report, writing:

“H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017, is significantly flawed. The bill would be an assault on the nation’s health, safety, and environmental protections, erect new barriers to unnecessarily slow down the regulatory process, and give regulated industries an unfair advantage to water down consumer protections.”

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is this bill's sole sponsor in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, this bill passed the House by a 230-168 largely party-line vote, with 10 Democrats voting in favor. The bill had the support of five bipartisan cosponsors, including three Democrats and two Republicans. Rep. Foxx has introduced this bill in the past four consecutive Congresses, starting with the 113th (2013-2015).


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: lionvision / iStock)

AKA

Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2019

Official Title

To provide for additional safeguards with respect to imposing Federal mandates, and for other purposes.

    Transparency or corruption, that's the choice.
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    The fact that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) supports this bill is a red flag for me. This organization’s wholesale restructuring of hundreds of local and state laws along the principles of favoritism to corporate interests makes me wonder if they are attempting to move their dangerous tactics to the national level. For those unfamiliar with ALEC, the following wiki will help clarify who and what it is: https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC%3F This bill, as outlined here, will codify current CBO policy into law: “The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) current policy of accounting a for specific. Costs of federal mandates—such as foregone business profits, costs passed onto consumers and other entities or behavioral changes —would be codified into law. Congressional committee chairmen and ranking members would be granted authority request that the CBO perform analyses comparing the authorized levels of funding in bills or resolutions with the potential loss of federal aid dollars when mandate compliance is a condition for that aid.” I would interpret this as excessive legislative control over executive functions. I would support providing, as supportive information to the legislators considering this bill, the CBO estimates of said “costs of federal mandates” as part of the costs associated with passage of the bill which they are considering. Codifying such information into law is out of the question! Separation of powers!
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    How is this not already available? Web based tool like Countable should let any citizen or congressperson look at spending
    Like (32)
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    We need more congressional transparency. This is one small step towards that.
    Like (29)
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    Transparency transparency transparency. More is always better.
    Like (26)
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    This seems like a trick question. In today’s hostile political environment we are lead to believe by our new authoritarian type government that profit and safety and a clean environment cannot coexist. This is a very dangerous slippery slope. Safety and environment must be given priority.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, without a doubt. And one bill at a time, too! None of this gravy crap attached for buying their vote! You have ripped us off for WAY TOO MANY YEARS NOW, AS IT IS! We want accountability for every dime you spend! WHEN WILL YOU HEAR OR, AT LEAST, ACKNOWLEDGE US?
    Like (15)
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    Every bill brought up should have a cost analyst which will tell whether or not the application of the bill will be within the limits of the budget. And there should be regulations that list the importance of bills brought up. This way, time & Money wasting bills will be put to pasture until the sponsor can show good reason why their bill should be considered.
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    More transparency with the Federal government and our tax dollars is never a bad thing. #MAGA
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    Yes, it is important for businesses and individuals to be able plan for coming regulations.
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    This is just common business sense. Must consider all impacts.
    Like (7)
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    House H.R. 300 AKA “Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2019’’. I’m in full support of and recommend the passage of the House bill H.R. 300 AKA “Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2019’’.which would aim to increase the information available to Congress & the public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. It’d require agencies to measure a proposed rule’s annual effect on the economy, not just “expenditures”, and to conduct an Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) analysis unless a law expressly prohibits them doing so. UMRA analyses would be required for all final rules, even those that weren’t subject to a public comment period. “When the federal government institutes new regulations, local and state agencies are left to identify and meet implementation costs on their own. This is a significant burden to state and local governments, as well as to businesses. In 2015 more than 80,000 pages were added to the Federal Register at a cost to the U.S. economy of $1.8 trillion annually. Congresswoman Foxx [is]  adamant that [this]  is 'NOT an anti-regulation bill' but rather 'a bill to make our regulatory apparatus more effective.'... [This bill] will help increase awareness at federal agencies of the steep price in dollars and lost jobs of regulatory requirements... Without clear, transparent and accountable rules, state and local agencies will continue to bear the burden of federal policies. [This bill] is designed to make the regulatory process efficient, effective, and transparent so that regulations can maximize benefits and limit costs." This bill would aim to increase the information available to Congress & the public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. It’d require agencies to measure a proposed rule’s annual effect on the economy, not just “expenditures”, and to conduct an Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) analysis unless a law expressly prohibits them doing so. UMRA analyses would be required for all final rules, even those that weren’t subject to a public comment period. SneakyPete......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 2*21*19............
    Like (7)
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    Both parties need to be upfront with the voters who put them in office.
    Like (6)
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    Yes. Financial Transparency is crucial both with the 116 and the 45th.
    Like (6)
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    Nothing more than to weaken, slow down and water down environmental protection impact to public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. Basically, they would be force to do a cost Analysis at tax payer experience. Fast track to climate change and flint Michigan. Polluters are us! The devils in the details.
    Like (6)
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    Transparency is a positive step. The way spending is mixed in a hodgepodge of additions will make this hard. There needs to be worked on with one proposal per submission. Pushing though a bill that is over 1000 pages at the last minute is ridiculous and this should change. Set a deadline submission date, stick to it and if not met, put it at the back of the list of considerations.
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    TOTAL TRANSPARENCY IN ALL OF "WE THE PEOPLE'S" GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT! DO YOUR JOBS AND MAKE IT SO "ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS!"
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    Yes. These leaders Work for US. It’s our money. All citizens of USA should know what Costs are and whether Republicans really are so fiscal. Under Trump, we know that the rich got richer and the middle class are paying more in taxes to support the 1%
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    It’s astonishing we have to create a bill to make our politicians who were put into office to control the nation’s purse stay focused on doing just that. Given we are $22T in debt and overspend every year by at least $1T, the bill is apparently needed.
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    I’m for transparency, but this bill seems to add expense without guaranteeing consumer protections and environmental safety standards. We’ve lost enough via EPA policy of greed & profit before environment & consumers. Vote NAY.
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