Looking ahead on regulations—parts of the BBB may rise from the dead
Federal regulations are a long standing source of dispute, cost and worry for the private sector, conditions made even greater with Biden administration getting its regulatory muscles ready to flex.
What might we expect on the regulatory front in the new year? According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ryan Young, more of the same. At least for now:
What will likely happen is… pretty much the status quo. Three thousand and some new final regulations and total compliance costs in the neighborhood of $2 trillion. An administration’s first year is typically its slowest, as far as rulemaking goes, and its final year is its most active, especially if there is a party change. Things will likely ramp up a bit in 2022, especially as agencies begin to implement rules related to the big spending bills, but not by that much—especially since the Build Back Better spending bill is likely now dead.
About the BBB…could its provisions rise from the grave?
Some of its regulatory provisions, especially for energy and environment, will likely come back in some other form. And President Biden will likely enact several of its planks without congressional input, using the same “pen and phone” tactic the Obama and Trump administrations used. If Congress changes hands in the midterm elections, look for something of a midnight rush before Congress’ next session convenes. This could also become a major source of rulemaking in 2023 if Republicans have the numbers to block most new legislation.
You’ve been warned. But what should happen on regulations? Ideally, a lot – with the trend being toward regulatory sanity, clarity, and simplicity. And that includes:
…clean[ing] up the regulatory code. This is a long-term process, but President Biden has the opportunity to create a lasting positive legacy if he begins it. The best option is an independent regulatory cleanup commission that combs through different parts of the 185,000-page Code of Federal Regulations on a 10-year cycle
It would be an impressive legacy. Which means it’s unlikely to happen.