by Patrick A. McLaughlin, Richard Williams
Mercatus Center
February 11, 2014
Working Paper Series
The American regulatory system has no working, systematic process for reviewing regulations for obsolescence or poor performance. Over time, this has facilitated the accumulation of a vast stock of regulations, negatively affecting GDP growth, labor productivity, innovation, and safety. Based on an examination of the obstacles to successful regulatory cleanup and the models of successful government reform, this study recommends the creation of an independent Regulatory Review Commission. The commission would be charged with evaluating regulations that cover predetermined, outcome-related topics, such as clean air or food safety. The commission would have to suggest changes that would achieve some quantifiable threshold, such as a reduction of 25 percent of administrative burden. These changes would be presented to Congress, and by default the changes would become law unless Congress passed a joint resolution of disapproval.

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