Congressman Challenges Regulators to “PROVE IT”

Last week, Representative Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced legislation named the Providing Retrospective Observations Validating the Economic and Increasing Transparency or PROVE IT Act. Rep. Graves’ bill currently has 15 other House cosponsors including one Democrat from Texas – Rep. Henry Cuellar.

The PROVE IT Act would empower Congress to require federal agencies to retroactively report when the cost-benefit analysis of an agency’s rule varies significantly from what occurs after implementation of that rule in the real world. It would also require agencies to review whether or not a finalized rule is fulfilling its primary purpose and work with local employers to adjust the rule if it isn’t.

According to Rep. Graves, “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. 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.”

Since 2009, federal regulators issued over 20,000 new rules, 566 of these were “major rules” with costs exceeding $100 million a year. The total cost of federal regulations now exceed $2 trillion annually-more than is collected in incomes taxes.

Enacting the PROVE IT Act would be a good start toward keeping federal agencies accountable as well as reining in the high cost regulations impose on businesses. Congress should continue to work on this bi-partisan legislation to reduce regulatory cost for businesses and expand employment opportunities for more Americans.

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