House passes 'red tape' bill

A bill would bar agencies from all significant regulatory action until unemployment falls below 6 percent. But no one can say how long that will take.

The House passed legislation July 26 that would bar agencies from making any significant changes to regulations before the economy improves.

The Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act (H.R. 4078)— dubbed a "red-tape" prohibition—passed by a vote of 245 to 172.

The legislation would stop all new significant federal regulations until the national unemployment rate falls to 6 percent or below. The unemployment rate has been higher than 8 percent for 41 consecutive months. The one bill is a combination of seven bills that would either halt regulations or otherwise revamp the regulatory process.

House members approved an amendment that would expand the term “significant regulatory action” from the current threshold of a $100 million or greater cost to the economy to $50 million. 

As the legislation goes to the Senate, the Obama administration has already said it opposes the bill. Officials have even threatened a veto if it came to the White House in the version the House passed. In the administration's view, the bill would add layers of procedural burdens that interfere with the ability of agencies to carry out their statutory mandates.

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