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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves’ PROVE IT Act Passes in the U.S. House of Representatives

January 11, 2017
Press Release
“Bad regulations create jobs – in the federal government and in other countries.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, the PROVE IT Act – a bi-partisan regulatory reform bill Congressman Garret Graves (R – South Louisiana) introduced in 2016 and that was included in the Regulatory Accountability Act – earned passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Under PROVE IT, federal regulators will finally be held accountable for the cost of complying with federal regulations.  For years, federal agencies could just fabricate the estimated cost to American families of complying with the countless federal regulations they issue each year.  PROVE IT requires these agencies to collect the actual cost of compliance of federal regulations from affected families and businesses to better understand the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the thousands of regulations that impact our lives on a daily basis. 

“We are tired of bureaucrats sitting in cubicles writing pages and pages of federal regulations on topics they know little about.  In approximately the last eight years, the federal agencies have imposed ‘hidden taxes’, otherwise known as regulations totaling nearly $1,000,000,000,000 in a regulatory environment that has led to the first net loss in small businesses since records have been kept,” said Graves. “Bad regulations create jobs – in the federal government and in other countries.”

Federal agencies can be prone to underestimate real-world compliance costs. The Graves bill establishes provisions to make regulators “prove it”:

  • Requires agencies to perform regular lookbacks at 5-year intervals for all major rulemakings
  • Requires a report to Congress on whether the rule is still meeting its regulatory objective and whether modifications to the rule could achieve better results while imposing a smaller burden/lower cost
  • Reopens public dockets for stakeholder feedback
  • Requires Agency to consider feedback
  • Encourages a culture within agencies where costs are not taken for granted and benefits are more carefully considered
  • Encourages agencies to better incorporate comments from stakeholders during the rulemaking process
  • Increases transparency
  • Facilitates stakeholder dialogue throughout life of rule

“Our bill is about bringing fairness and transparency to the federal regulatory system,” Graves continued. “When an agency tells the American people how much a regulation will cost, they will be held accountable to that.”  

Since 2009, more than 600 major rules have been finalized, costing every American household approximately $15,000 each year and carrying a total estimated compliance cost in the trillions of dollars.* Today, agencies are not required to track or otherwise provide retrospective review of a major rulemaking’s benefits or economic impacts, despite the fact that the actual costs to regulated industries often far exceed agency estimates. And in Louisiana, the impact of federal regulation on our industries is 74 percent higher than the impact on the nation overall – making it the most regulated state in the country.**

Graves explained the merits of PROVE IT on the House Floor tonight prior the Regulatory Accountability Act’s final passage. His remarks can be seen by clicking below.

*Competitive Enterprise Institute: Federal Regulation Cost Reaches $1.885 Trillion
** Mercatus Center: “The Impact of Federal Regulation on the 50 States”