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Bill would make agencies consider alternatives to regs

November 9, 2011

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Washington – A bill that would force federal agencies to adopt less expensive alternatives when promulgating regulations passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 3.

The Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 3010) would require agencies promulgating regulations to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of regulatory alternatives and, in most cases, adopt the least-costly alternatives.

However, an agency would be allowed to adopt a more expensive rule if additional benefits “justify its additional costs” and the rule is based on public health, safety or welfare interests.

In a statement, committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said regulations have become a “barrier to economic growth and job creation,” a suggestion many Republican congress members support.

OSHA administrator David Michaels has argued against the accusation that regulations hurt the economy, asserting that evidence shows some safety regulations also improve productivity and save money for businesses.

The bill, which passed out of committee with a bipartisan vote of 16-6, awaits a vote in the full house.

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