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Senator Lankford Releases Initial #CutRedTape Findings

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) released the first details from his bipartisan #CutRedTape Initiative, an online portal for American families and businesses to communicate with the Senate about federal regulations that impact them. Since the launch of the #CutRedTape Initiative in March, Lankford’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management has received 260 submissions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was mentioned most frequently, followed by Medicare and other healthcare issues and the Department of Transportation. 

Prior to the release of the #CutRedTape Initiative, there was not a single location for Americans to provide insight about how federal regulations impact them. With the #CutRedTape Initiative, Senators will use the first-hand experiences submitted through the website to determine areas where the federal government can cut red tape and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy so regulations can work as intended. All stories will remain secure and confidential and the Subcommittee will not share personal information. The website can found by visiting www.lankford.senate.gov.

The launch of the initiative followed the first Subcommittee hearing Lankford held in March, as well as a full Committee hearing in February to investigate commonsense improvements the federal government can make to promote efficient and cost-effective federal rules. During the full Committee hearing, it became clear that there was not a central location for families and businesses to express concerns with federal regulations.

Notable Submissions:

One Oklahoman described how a mortgage disclosure requirement regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will severely harm small community banks. The rule was set to take effect on August 1, 2015, but was later delayed until October 2015. This regulation, along with many others stemming from the Dodd-Frank Act, places excessive paperwork burdens on our nation’s community banks, which strive to provide Americans with affordable and stable mortgages.

In another example, an Oklahoman detailed how certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require vehicles transitioning from conventional gasoline to natural gas to obtain several certifications demonstrating greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Natural gas is often a much more efficient source of fuel and the EPA’s costly certification requirements prevent more drivers from adopting it.

One concerned citizen noted that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should provide doctors with a one-year transitional period to adopt the extremely complex ICD-10 coding system. Most healthcare providers will be required to use the UN World Health Organization’s ICD-10 system by October 1, 2015, which has over 16,000 codes. Many doctors and healthcare providers will be forced to adhere to ICD-10’s numerous coding requirements and face increased federal reporting requirements.

A #CutRedTape contributor from the trucking industry explained while mandated diesel particulate filters (DPFs) may reduce exhaust, they also significantly increase maintenance costs for truckers. EPA regulations issued in 2007 required much of the trucking industry to reduce pollution exhaust and many trucks adopted DPFs to meet EPA requirements. New DPF units cost about $5,000 each and often cause truck engines to overheat and break down. These filters drastically increase costs for many truckers and other methods could reduce emissions without the unnecessary costs.

Another contributor wrote in explaining how the EPA’s Regional Haze Program costs states and stakeholders approximately $282 million. The Clean Air Act mandated that states determine the appropriate visibility controls and air quality standards under the EPA’s Regional Haze Program. However, EPA issued several lawsuit settlement decrees that entirely bypassed the state programs and forced many power plants to shut down or invest millions into EPA mandated restructuring.