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At Senate Hearing, CPR's Vechick Provides Voice of Reason on Flawed 'Regulatory Budgeting' Proposal
CPR President, Loyola University, New Orleans, Law Professor, and Tulane University DRLA Professor Robert R.M. Verchick testified at a hearing convened by the Senate Budget Committee to examine a dangerous regulatory policy proposal known as "regulatory budgeting." As he explains in his testimony, regulatory budgeting represents a stark departure from the traditional focus of regulatory policy discussions, which have long been concerned with improving the effectiveness—or quality—of regulatory decision-making.
Verchick's testimony also explains how regulatory budgeting risks leaving the public and the environment inadequately protected, especially against new and emerging threats. He notes: But as we face a future in which deep-water drilling, nanomaterials, and even driverless cars become commonplace, better protections—not fewer ones—are what we actually need. Rationing public goods like health, safety, and security for the benefit of a narrow class of commercial interests is the very opposite of what a virtuous and effective government should be doing.
Verchick's testimony provides a comprehensive condemnation of regulatory budgeting. It concludes by reasserting the importance of maintaining the traditional focus of regulatory policy debates on ways to improve the quality of agency regulations. To this end, Verchick offers several recommendations for steps Congress and the agencies can take to improve the ability of the regulatory system to produce higher quality regulations. For more about the flaws with regulatory budgeting in general and with the "pay-go" version in particular, see this 2012 CPR report.