A bipartisan bill that would shed light on how federal policies affect both businesses and state and local governments passed the House Wednesday.
The bill, HR 50, Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, can be read here.
Introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., the bill aims to give the public and Congress more information about how much an unfunded federal mandate would cost and what impact it would have on the economy.
The bill passed the House in the last Congress with bipartisan support, but stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
It’s expected to get a warmer welcome in the new Republican-controlled Senate, but faces grimmer prospects if it hits the President’s desk.
"Republicans are not anti-regulation. We want regulations. We need regulations. We want safe food, safe products and safe cars," Foxx said on the floor.
She also said the bill is “common sense legislation” designed to close the loopholes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.
"Bureaucrats don't want to do their jobs and be held accountable, so they have found ways to get around (the) original UMRA bill … (which) has not been revised since '95. That's a mighty long time for legislation to be on the books and bureaucrats to find ways to get around the rule," Foxx said. “Transparency and accountability are not partisan issues. It’s my hope that the bipartisan manner in which this legislation passed the House will pave the way for swift consideration and passage in the Senate.”
H.R. 50 would increase transparency about the costs imposed by unfunded mandates and would hold the federal government accountable for considering those costs before passing them on to local governments and small businesses.
Current loopholes within UMRA allow certain regulatory bodies to escape public reporting requirements and incentivize others to forego publicizing regulatory proposals.