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Treasury and OMB Reach Major Agreement on IRS Regulatory Oversight

WASHINGTON, DC – The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, under the chairmanship of Senator James Lankford (R-OK), today held a hearing to examine the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Just before the hearing, the Department of Treasury and the OMB revised a long-standing agreement, in place since 1983, that exempted most IRS regulations from OIRA review. For several decades, the IRS has promulgated regulations that impact the American people and small businesses, however, the IRS hasn’t been subject to the small business public input requirement of the normal rule-making process.   

Today’s new agreement is in response to years of committee oversight and a request from Subcommittee Chairman Lankford and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) that was made several months ago. “I am very pleased to see that Treasury and OMB have reached an agreement that ensures IRS regulations are held to the same rigorous standards as any other agency,” said Lankford. “Both sides worked very hard to find the proper balance between allowing the IRS to implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as quickly as possible and having OIRA thoroughly review all significant regulations.”

Today’s hearing also examined OIRA’s accomplishments in the first year of the new Trump administration and their goals to improve its oversight of the rule-making process. The OIRA was created in 1980 to oversee the implementation of regulations across the entire federal government. OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao and Treasury General Counsel Brent McIntosh testified before the Subcommittee hearing today and advocated for a “streamlined regulatory review” that ensures “swift and successful implementation” of the laws that Congress passes.

Lankford continued, “Ten days after the President took office, he issued an executive order directing executive branch agencies to remove at least two regulations for each newly issued regulation. It is good to hear that the regulatory cost are being offset by the removal of existing regulatory costs, and that we are seeing an overall reduction of regulatory output. This decision today streamlines the effect of regulatory action to ensure that the laws that Congress makes are being fairly applied across the entire federal government. This Subcommittee will continue to fight for the American people by ensuring all regulations are thoroughly analyzed and impose the least possible costs.”

CLICK HERE to view the full hearing video and opening statements.