On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support resolutions of disapproval against costly regulations promulgated by federal agencies. The resolutions are aimed at regulations submitted for congressional review by the Department of the Interior, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Bureau of Land Management.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows Congress to give no force or effect to federal regulations within 60 legislative days of their submission for review. Since the passage of CRA, more than 120 resolutions of disapproval have been introduced. Unfortunately, only one has passed both chambers of Congress and been signed into law by the president.
In 2015, federal regulations cost nearly $1.9 trillion, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, almost $15,000 per household. The constitutional and economic issues that the regulatory state brings were on full display during President Barack Obama’s eight years in office. Congress now has the opportunity to roll back several regulations under the CRA.
H.J.Res. 36 – Bureau of Land Management’s Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation Rule: With annual compliance costs between $114 million and $279 million, the so-called “venting and flaring” rule purports to reduce waste from “reduce the waste of natural gas from mineral leases administered” by the Bureau of Land Management. In reality, the purpose of the rule is discourage oil and gas production on land overseen by the agency. The Bureau of Land Management estimates annual compliance costs between $114 million and $279 million.
H.J.Res. 37 – Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Federal Acquisition Regulation: This regulation requires federal contractors to disclose decisions on the reporting of violations of federal labor laws and creates paycheck transparency protections for employees of federal contractors. The rule is expected to cost employers $458.3 million in the first year, $413.7 million in the second year, and between $398.5 million and $400 million annually thereafter.
H.J.Res. 38 – Department of the Interior’s Stream Protection Rule: With an annual estimated cost of $81 million, according to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the Stream Protection Rule is another blow to the coal industry, which was a favorite target of the Obama administration. The National Mining Association estimates that rule will lead to billions of dollars in lost revenues to state and local governments, as well as the loss of between 113,000 and 280,000 jobs.
H.J.Res. 41 – Securities and Exchange Commission’s Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers: Promulgated under the authority of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or Dodd-Frank, this rule requires resource extraction issuers to include in annual reports the payment of any entity controlled by the regulated business to foreign governments or the United States government "for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals." The Securities and Exchange Commission projects initial compliance costs between $239 million and $700 million and annual compliance costs between $96 million and $591 million.
FreedomWorks will count the votes on these resolutions of disapproval when calculating our Scorecard for 2017 and reserves the right to score any related votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President and CEO, FreedomWorks