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Lankford, Portman, Fischer Applaud Committee Passage of Bill to Reduce Regulatory Hurdles, Give Job Creators Freedom to Invest & Hire New Workers

WASHINGTON, DC Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) today applauded the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for passing their Unfunded Mandates Accountability and Transparency Act (UMATA). The bill will reduce excessive unfunded government mandates on job creators, giving them greater freedom to invest in their companies and hire new workers. When the federal government imposes unnecessary and burdensome regulations, it undermines employers’ ability to hire more workers, and makes it harder for American workers to find jobs. This legislation will free employers from stifling government mandates and help them create more jobs and compete globally. Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) are leading companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

“I am grateful that our important regulatory accountability bill took the next step in the legislative process to address unfunded federal mandates levied on businesses and local governments,” said Lankford, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management. “This bill gives us an opportunity to bring a much-needed change to the excessive federal regulatory process that is often burdensome to our nation’s small businesses. I look forward to seeing this important bill make its way to President Trump’s desk for his signature into law.”

“I have been proud to work to reduce the burden of unfunded mandates from the federal government on our society since 1995, when I sponsored the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act in the House. As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, reducing the regulatory burden on our employers is more important than ever, which is why I applaud the committee passage of the Unfunded Mandates Accountability and Transparency Act to do just that,” said Portman. “This bill engages the public in finding creative, effective solutions that impose fewer burdens on state, local, and Tribal governments, as well as the private sector. More effective, efficient regulations will allow employers to invest more in their companies, bolster our economic recovery, and help get Americans back to work. I urge my colleagues to join Senators Fischer, Lankford, and me in supporting in this bill when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote.” 

“I applaud the committee passage of this bicameral legislation, which will help Americans get back to work safely as we recover from COVID-19. By helping to eliminate unfunded mandates on job creators, this bill will offer real relief for employers. It will allow them to invest in their businesses and hire more workers,” said Fischer.

 The Unfunded Mandates Accountability and Transparency Act will:

  • Strengthen regulatory impact analyses under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by requiring agencies to assess regulations’ effect on jobs and consider market-based, flexible, and non-governmental alternatives to agency rules. 
  • Require agencies to allow public input earlier in the rulemaking process to develop those alternatives.
  • Require agencies to choose the alternative that maximizes net benefits, unless the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator approves another option that accounts for unquantifiable costs or benefits.
  • Extend the analytical requirements of UMRA to independent agencies.
  • Apply the UMRA requirements to rules that impose mandates on private sector employers.
  • Allow for meaningful judicial review of all agencies’ compliance with UMRA requirements.
  • Improve Congress’s consideration of bills that increase costs on the private sector by creating a budget point of order on bills that do not address those costs.