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IV. New Government -
Common Sense Regulatory Reform
"I believe very strongly in the cause of regulatory reform. And
... I believe we can bring back common sense and reduce hassle without
stripping away safeguards for our children, our
workers, our families. . . .
We all want the benefits of regulation. We all want clean air and clean
water and safe food and toys that our children can play with. But let's
face it, we all know the regulatory system
needs repair. Too often the rule writers here in Washington have such
detailed lists of dos and don'ts that the dos and don'ts undermine the
very objectives they seek to achieve, when clear goals
and operation for cooperation would work better. Too often, especially
small businesses, face a profusion of overlapping and sometimes
conflicting rules. . . .
Some would use the need for reform as a pretext to guy vital consumer,
worker, environmental protections; even things thatprotect business
itself. They don't want reform; they really want rigor mortis. . . .
Reform, yes -- bring it on. Roll back, no."
-- President Clinton
February 21, 1995
The Clinton Administration is strongly committed to reforming our
regulatory system so that it is more flexible, costs less, and imposes
fewer rigid rules on the American economy.
Significant steps over the past two years include:
Enacting interstate banking deregulation and intrastate trucking
Expanding use of cost-benefit analysis and risk analysis in the
development of regulations
EPA's Common Sense initiative streamlined environmental regulation
Shrinking the SBA loan form from an inch thick to one page
Dramatically simplifying bank regulations issued by the Comptroller
of the Currency, and radically reducing the regulatory burden placed on
Reinventing Regulation Initiative
The President has stepped up this effort, ordering his top regulatory
officials on February 21 to undertake a Regulatory Reinvention
Initiative that will:
Cut Obsolete Regulations Each agency is to conduct a
page-by-page review of all existing regulations and eliminate those that
are outdated or in need of reform. A list of these regulations is to be sent to the White House by June 1.
Reward results, not red tape Agencies are directed to change their measurement of front-l
ine regulators' performance to focus on results not on process or punishment.
Get out of Washington and create grassroots partnerships Regulators are to convene groups of front-line regulators and affected citizens -- at sites around the cou
ntry, not in Washington.
Change Rulemaking Procedures Regulators are ordered to
submit to OMB a list of formal rulemaking proceedings that can be
converted into consensual negotiations.
In addition, the President directed Vice-President Gore to complete a
comprehensive set of reform proposals in specific areas -- including the
environment, food safety, health, workplace safety, financial services
-- for executive or legislative action.
Reform, yes; rollback, no
President Clinton is committed to working with Congress to craft
balanced regulatory reform legislation.
The administration has supported regulatory reform measures
Legislation that would seek to end the practice of unfunded mandates
to the states
Proposals to cut paperwork, and
Increased regulatory flexibility
for small business.
However, some proposals currently being considered by Congress are
extreme and would undercut the protection of consumers, workers, and the
environment. Any efforts to improve regulation must take account of the
benefits of regulation:cleaner air and water, safer products and food,
safer workplaces, sound financial institutions.
Moratorium. President Clinton has said that the regulatory
moratorium legislation that passed the House of Representatives would
freeze good regulations as well as bad ones, and would undercut
protection of the public health and safety. Cabinet officials including
the Attorney General, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Labor, the
Secretary of Transportation, and the Administrator of EPA have stated that
they would recommend a veto of the House moratorium bill.
Risk. While the administration supports the use of risk
analysis in regulation, the President said that the legislation that
passed the House would paralyze the government by process, resulting in
more delay, more lawsuits and more cost to taxpayers.
Takings. Finally, while the administration supports private
property rights, it has strongly objected to proposals that would
automatically pay landowners when the value of their property is
diminished by federal regulation. The administration hopes to work with
members of the Senate to improve these measures so that they accomplish
the goal of reforming regulation without hurting the middle class.