A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 300 Eye Street NE #3, Washington, D.C. 20001, (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301.
Issue #22 * July 22, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor
On July 20, Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS) pulled his Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act (S.343) from floor consideration after he failed for the third time in less than a week to obtain the 60 votes needed to shut off debate on the legislation. The vote was 58-40, with Democrat Senators J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), John Breaux (D-LA), Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Howell Heflin (D-AL) joining the chamber¹s 54 Republicans in voting to end debate. Earlier attempts for cloture on July 17 and 18 failed 48-46 and 53-47 respectively. The political maneuvering during the ten-day regulatory reform debate was reminiscent of another contentious debate earlier this year the debate over the balanced budget amendment. Each time Dole agreed to change his bill to accommodate Democrat moderates, the moderates would move their "goal posts." Before Senator Dole removed his bill from further consideration, it had been considerably watered-down. Amendments were approved limiting the bill¹s cost-benefit analysis provisions to regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more and waiving these provisions for certain beef and poultry inspections. Key provisions relating to Superfund were also eliminated. These changes were in addition to already substantial changes the bill underwent in negotiations with Senator Johnston. ³I assume we could have had a package with 100 votes, but it wouldn¹t have been worth anything,² Senator Dole said, commenting on his decision to withdraw S. 343. Eleven Senators whose terms expire in January 1997 did not vote for cloture and thus voted against regulatory reform. They included Senators David Pryor (D-AR), Paul Simon (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Kerry (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Paul Wellstone (D-MN), Max Baucus (D-MT), J. James Exon (D-NE), Bill Bradley (D-NJ), Claiborne Pell (D-RI) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Though individuals, families and businesses hoping for prompt regulatory relief suffered a significant setback this week, some observers believe they will have the last laugh when they go to the polls in November 1996.
Where's Clinton's "Useless Regulations" List, GOP Leaders Ask:
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Representative Jan Meyers (R-KS), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, want to know what happened to President Clinton's list of "useless regulations." In March, President Clinton ordered agency heads to conduct reviews of rules and regulations they enforce and provide him with a list of those that could be scrapped. Though the list was to be completed by June 1, no one outside the White House has seen it thus far. "As far as I know, no such comprehensive list has been delivered to the president and it certainly has not been made public," said Representative DeLay during recent remarks before the Small Business Committee. "Despite his seemingly good intentions, there is little evidence that any reduction in the regulatory burden is taking place. In fact, the opposite is true."
Appropriations Subcommittee Terminates Some of "Dirty 30" Regulations:
On July 10, the Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies approved a bill defunding several Environmental Protection Agency regulations included in the "Dirty 30" hit list, assembled by Representative David McIntosh (R-IN), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs. Among those terminated: The Federal Operating Permit Rule; the Toxic Release Inventory (chemical use); the Refinery Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standard; the Great Lakes Clean Water Quality Guidance; the Environmental Self Audits; the Emissions Testing (Inspection and Maintenance Programs); and the Trip Reduction (Employee Commute Options Requirement).
Senate Subcommittee Mark-up Slated for National Biological Service:
Senate Subcommittee mark-up for funding of the Department of Interior's National Biological Service will likely be July 26 or 27, with full Appropriations Committee mark-up expected on July 28. The finishing touches on the Chairman's mark (Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA)) are expected to be completed by Monday, July 24. The House approved Interior appropriations on July 18, 244-181. The House slashed NBS funding by more than 35%. The National Biological Service (NBS), formerly known as the National Biological Survey, was established to map and assess the nation's biological resources ostensibly for the purpose of protecting and managing natural resources. Though never formally authorized by Congress, the NBS's budget has been in the $160-170 million range since its inception in 1993. Because the NBS's mission is to survey all biological resources -- both public and private -- it has posed a serious threat to private property rights.
Thank Supporters of Cloture, Regulatory Relief Advocates Say:
Proponents of regulatory reform are urging grassroots activists to call and write Senators who voted for cloture on the Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act (S. 343) to thank them. Even though the Senate failed to invoke cloture, they say, "appreciation" calls are important -- There will be other battles down the road. Proponents are also calling on the grassroots to encourage Senators to continue their efforts for regulatory relief.
Urge House Members to Fix "Flow Control Bill," Group Says:
Browning-Ferris Industries is urging groups interested in ending the government -sanctioned monopoly of solid waste management to contact House Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley (R-VA) and Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-OH) to let them know their views. If the House Commerce Committee follows the Senate's lead in approving a broad bill, "it is a virtual certainty that the public will be saddled with the unwanted and adverse effects of flow control."
Species Habitat Preserved in Preparation for Next Ice Age:
According to the author of the recovery plan for the Iowa Pleistocene Snail, "the major long-term cause of [the snail's] decline was cyclic climatic change" -- the Ice Age ended. But "with a return to glacial conditions it will be resuscitated over the major part of the upper Midwest, provided its relictual areas are preserved." In the meantime, people will have to make sacrifices. Information from the Heritage Foundation's "Red Tape in America."
Proposed Regulation Opposed by Groups from the Right -- and the Left:
According to the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, a proposed regulation is making its way through Congress that is opposed by both conservative groups and liberal groups. The proposal is to establish a national registry of people eligible to work in the United States as a means of cutting down on illegal immigration. For small businesses, the registry would mean more paperwork, more staff time and more costs. Companies participating in an INS pilot project to test the registry concept reported an average compliance cost of $5,000, though one reported costs of over $15,000. Former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp and Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), co-chairs of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, detail more shortcomings in a July 21 New York Times op/ed.
Grassroots Group Calls for New Species Protection Plan.
Don Amador, Chairman of the Idaho-based Blue Ribbon Coalition, a coalition of wise-use activists and motorized recreationists, has called for the current Endangered Species law to be replaced with a non-regulatory, incentive-based species protection that encourages conservation through commerce, among other things.
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©1995, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.
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