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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves Tells Regulators to “PROVE IT”

June 16, 2016
Press Release
Baton Rouge Area Congressman Introduces Legislation for a More Accountable Federal Regulatory System

Washington, DC – Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced bipartisan legislation today in the US House of Representatives to bring fairness, transparency and accountability to the federal regulatory system – the PROVE IT Act of 2016.

“Regulations are effectively a hidden tax. Billions of dollars that our businesses and manufacturers could be using to boost wages and grow jobs are being diverted to comply with the daily avalanche of new regulations,” said Graves.  “The costs of these regulations almost always exceed the self-serving predictions agencies use when the rules are issued, but the overregulated public is still unfairly forced to pay for them. I’m offering this bill to help end the regulatory abuse.”

Federal agencies justify rulemakings using impact analysis prior to the rule going into effect, which is when the least amount of information is known about a regulation’s true economic costs and benefits. Under current law, after an agency finalizes a new major rulemaking and mandates compliance, it never has to answer for the actual impact the rule is having on people and the economy.  True cost of compliance could be underestimated by tens of billions of dollars and there is no accountability mechanism. 

Congressman Graves’ bill, “Providing Retrospective Observations Validating the Economics and Increasing Transparency,”(PROVE IT)  will force agencies that claimed minimal economic impact to PROVE IT after the rule has been applied in the real world.

“A recent study showed that the impact of all of these regulations in our home state of Louisiana is 74% greater than the nation as a whole – we’re the most regulated state in America,” Graves continued. “Take chemical manufacturing, for example. That industry is three-times more important to Louisiana’s economy than the national economy, but it is regulated ten-times more than the average industry. The story is similar with energy. Think about what that means for take home pay, business expansion and opportunities for all of us.”

Regulations affecting nearly all sectors of the economy have skyrocketed in the past seven years with over 600 new, major rulemakings since 2009, carrying a minimum estimated economic cost of over two trillion dollars. This regulatory burden stifles economic growth, undermines American competiveness and kills jobs.  Also since 2009, the United States has had the first net reduction in the number of small businesses since records have been kept, according to According to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The PROVE IT Act gives Congress the authority to require agencies to conduct regular lookbacks and report to Congress when actual cost and benefits vary from agency predictions. It also requires agencies to produce reviews to determine whether a rule is meeting its regulatory objectives and to re-engage with local employers to identify ways to accomplish the objective at a lower cost to regulated entities.

“We have to untangle our job creators from the costly burden of excessive regulations so they can prosper. We can achieve real environmental benefits through efforts compatible with economic growth,” Graves concluded.

The PROVE IT Act has 16 original cosponsors, including lead Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX) and Louisiana Congressmen Abraham (R) and Boustany (R).