Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Obama administration's red tape is strangling business and dragging down economic growth. Members of both parties on Capitol Hill are getting an earful from constituents about the need to give local businesses a breather. Now a bipartisan, bicameral group is working on a long-overdue overhaul of the process by which federal agencies draw up rules.
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Regulatory Accountability Act, a bill that would curb expensive and unnecessary regulations, in preparation for markup by year's end. The Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the rulemaking process, has not been seriously touched since it became law in 1946.
Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, and Sen. Mark Pryor, Arkansas Democrat, introduced the Senate version of the bill. Businesses don't know what's coming next, Mr. Portman told The Washington Times in an interview. They don't know what's around the corner. This would give the whole process more predictability and certainty and common sense.
As the Bush administration's former director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mr. Portman knows full well the economic impact of executive branch rules. There's been a huge growth in regulations at every level, said Mr. Portman. During his term, President Obama has proposed 84 rules with an economic impact greater than $100 million per year. That's a 35 percent increase in the number of major rules over President George W. Bush and a 50 percent increase over President Bill Clinton. …