The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is up in arms over a bill the House passed Thursday that not only stymies regulators in enforcing rules but halts all new non-emergency regulations until the unemployment rate exceeds 6% or in two years, whichever comes first.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the jobless rate will reach that level by 2016 at the earliest.
H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction Act, which passed by a vote of 245-172, includes seven measures that the CFA says “collectively make it impossible for consumer protections to be developed and implemented.”
Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for CFA, told AdvisorOne that included in the package are provisions to increase cost-benefit requirements for both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
H.R. 2308, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, which was introduced by Rep. Steve Garrett, R-N.J., was rolled into the Red Tape Reduction Act. The bill subjects the SEC to President Obama’s executive order requiring enhanced cost-benefit analysis as well as a review of existing regulations.
After passage of the act on Thursday, Garrett said in a statement: “As our economy continues to remain in the slowest recovery since World War II and with unemployment remaining at or above 8% for the 41st consecutive month, I believe Washington must finally work to relieve America’s job creators from the burdens of unnecessary regulations and red tape.” Since taking office, he said, “the Obama administration has under review over 400 regulations each costing the economy at least $100 million.”