Blue Dogs call on independent agencies to review regulations

Jun 15, 2011
In The News
By Vicki Needham

Several members of the Blue Dog Coalition are pressing 12 independent federal agencies to conduct reviews of their regulations that they could save upward of $1 billion and help create jobs.

The fiscally conservative group of Democrats sent out letters on Wednesday asking that the agencies to voluntarily agree to review and identify and change burdensome regulations that could hamper job creation efforts, according to a letter obtained by The Hill.

"We believe that overly burdensome and outdated regulations slow economic growth," the letter said.

"We request that you commit to complying with the executive order, and conduct an open and transparent regulatory review."

On Jan. 18, President Obama issued an executive order calling on every federal agency to review their regulations to ensure they “promote predictability and reduce uncertainty,” “take into account benefits and costs,” and “identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.”

That order doesn't cover independent agencies, hence the Blue Dog's call for voluntary reviews.

During the past several months, Cass Sunstein, administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has issued a timeline and directives for executive departments and agencies to comply with the executive order.

Last week, 30 departments and agencies released their preliminary plans but only one independent agency has voluntarily implemented the executive order requirement, the letter said.

"The administration has noted that some of these steps have the ability to save more $1 billion in the near future," the wrote.

The Blue Dog letter went out to 12 agencies -- the Federal Communications Commission, National Credit Union Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Reserve System, Federal Trade Commission, Security Exchange Commission, and International Trade Commission.

The letter was signed by Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.), chairman of the Blue Dog's Oversight and Regulatory Review Task Force, Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.), vice chairman of the Oversight and Regulatory Review Task Force, Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), co-chairman for Administration, Rep. John Barrow (Ga.), co-chairman for Policy, Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.), co-chairman for Communications, Rep. Dan Boren (Ind.), Blue Dog Whip, Rep. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) and Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah).