The Relief Report

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org/.

Issue #35 * February 29,1996 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Hill Watch - Regulatory relief initiatives on Capitol Hill

Small Business Growth and
Administrative Accountability Act of 1996
Slated for House Floor Action March 5.

The Small Business Growth and Administrative Accountability Act is scheduled to go to the House floor on Tuesday, March 5 under an open rule. The bill, labeled a modest down payment on the comprehensive regulatory reform needed to end economic stagnation and create jobs -- will include three key provisions: Title I: Strengthening Regulatory Flexibility. This provision would strengthen the Regulatory Flexibility Act by allowing small businesses to challenge certain agency actions or inactions in court. Title II: Administrative Review. This provision, among other things, would require federal agencies to periodically review major rules to determine whether they should be continued, modified consolidate with other rules or terminated. The provision would also establish a petition process that will permit the public and appropriate congressional committees to request review of less economically-costly regulations. Title III: Congressional Review. This provision would allow Congress to review major rules to determine whether they should be "vetoed" before being permitted to take effect. Prospects for approval of the bill in both houses appears good: Title I passed the House last March, 415-15. Title II was approved by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee in July in a 39-7 vote, approved by the Senate (as an amendment to S. 343) in a 96-0 vote and was one of the recommendations of White House Conference on Small Business. Title III passed the Senate last March, 100-0 and passed the House in November (as part of the Debt Limit Bill), 257-165.

House Democratic Environmental Task Force Holds Kangaroo Court.

The House Democratic Environmental Task Force held a hearing on February 26, featuring such witnesses as Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt and EPA Administrator Carol Browner. Excluded from testifying were regulatory takings victims and representatives of small business and industry. As one might suspect, Secretary Babbitt and Administrator Browner lamented the budget impasse, arguing that it had jeopardized enforcement of vital environmental laws. "The environmental cop is absolutely not on the beat." In response, Representative Don Young (R-AK) suggested that the hearing was a "media event pure and simple." He added, "It appears as if Secretary Babbitt is only interested in appearing before Democratic members who he knows will affectionately and unquestionably accept his political rhetoric as fact." In a manner befitting a kangaroo court, Bob Adams of The National Center for Public Policy Research attended the hearing in a kangaroo costume. Though democratic staffers weren't pleased, a CNN camera crew seemed amused.

Action Items - What you can do to advance the regulatory relief agenda

Call Hill in Support of Small Business Growth
and Administrative Accountability Act,
Relief Advocates Say.

Regulatory relief advocates are urging grassroots activists to place calls to Capitol Hill offices in support of the Small Business Growth and Administrative Accountability Act. According to Hill sources, calls placed to centrist Members of both Houses -- "the usual suspects" -- would do the most good.

Bulletin Board - News from regulatory relief groups

"Private Property Congressional Vote Index" Released.

The Battle Ground, Washington -based League of Private Property Owners has just released its 1995-1996 "Private Property Congressional Vote Index." The index scores Members for their support of private property rights based on 15 key votes in the House and 11 in the Senate. The number of Representatives earning 100% scored were 71, while 41 Senators received a perfect score. Forty-nine Representatives and 33 Senators received 0%.

New Report Questions Environmental PAC's Influence on Legislative Process.

Environmentalists are fond of pointing to industry and business PAC donations to Members of Congress supporting the regulatory relief agenda as evidence that these Members are tainted, little more than puppets of powerful special interests. But what about congressional advocates of greater environmental regulation and the powerful monied interests that back them? A report just released by The National Center for Public Policy Research, "Greenbacks for Green Votes 2," addresses this question. Specifically, "Greenbacks for Green Votes," looks into the campaign contributions made by donations made by the League of Conservations Voters' PAC and the voting practices of the recipients of those donations. Among the report's key findings: Members of Congress who received contributions from the League's PAC voted for the organization's environmental agenda -- as measured by the League of Conservation Voters' just released National Environmental Scorecard -- an average of 89% of the time. An astounding 46.5% of Members of Congress who received donations from the League voted the League's way 100% of the time.

"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to:

The National Center for Public Policy Research
501 Capitol Ct., N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002
Tel. (202) 543-4110 * Fax (202)543-5975
E-mail [email protected]
Web http://www.nationalcenter.org/.

©1996, 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.


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