Crews: Banishing regulatory ‘dark matter’
Earlier this year Congress and President Trump made history, rolling back more regulations with the Congressional Review Act than ever before. The 14 regulations that were undone with the CRA this spring were a good start. Regulatory reform bills, like the REINS Act, have also been introduced that would supercharge the CRA by requiring Congress to affirmatively enact certain major rules.
Some regulatory experts are looking at other options to combat regulation in other ways. In a recent op-ed at The Washington Times, Wayne Crews, Vice President for Policy and Director of Technology Studies at Competitive Enterprise Institute, calls for lawmakers to simplify bureaucratic nomenclature.
Lawmakers should inventory, simplify and consolidate the federal bureaucracy’s increasingly confusing nomenclature, which includes rule categories like “major,” “nonmajor,” “significant,” “economically significant” and numerous others such as “substantive.” That streamlining must also extend beyond formal rules to informal guidance documents, memoranda, administrative interpretations, bulletins and other issuances that agencies use to implement policy. This “dark matter” under many different names and guises proliferates without always following the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment rule making requirements.
Crews also released a new paper detailing this need, titled “What’s the Difference between ‘Major,’ ‘Significant,’ and All Those Other Federal Rule Categories?”