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Congressman Tom Marino

Representing the 12th District of Pennsylvania

Rep. Marino Takes on Billion Dollar Regulations

August 4, 2015
Press Release

Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, and Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) introduced companion legislation in their respective chambers to stop “high impact rules” with costs over $1 billion dollars annually from taking effect until all court challenges to the regulation in question are settled.  H.R. 3438 - the REVIEW Act, was cosponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) a cosponsor in the Senate. 

The REVIEW Act amends the Administrative Procedure Act to establish:

  • a definition for “high-impact rules”—those costing more than $1 billion annually;
  • an automatic stay of all high-impact rules pending final judicial review if a legal challenge is filed within 60 days; and
  • a lifting of the stay if a challenge to the high-impact rule is not filed within 60 days.

Within the last 15 years, federal agencies have finalized and proposed just over 30 “high impact rules.” The EPA alone introduced 19 of these with costs over $90 billion dollars. The Obama Administration’s recently announced Clean Power Plan (CPP) by its own estimate will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030. In addition, the EPA’s proposed rule for Ozone standards is estimated to set a record for being one of the most expensive regulations ever imposed by the federal government.

“Agency rules can become effective while the legal process is underway and the costs to our economy are immediately incurred. These costs are significant and if the regulations are ultimately overturned, the damage is irreversible,” said Congressman Marino. “Businesses across the country have no way of recovering the billions of dollars incurred in compliance costs. Those costs kill jobs, and prevent investment in our infrastructure and economy. The REVIEW Act provides certainty to the regulatory process, by halting billion dollar regulations until the legal proceedings surrounding their legitimacies and costs have concluded.”

The EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Rule (MATS), with anticipated costs of nearly $10 billion per year, went into effect in 2012, and required compliance in early 2015. During those 3 years, over 70 % of regulated entities came into compliance, or planned to close facilities to do so, all while the rule was challenged in court. However, in July of this year the Supreme Court found the rule legally invalid and sent it back to a lower federal court with the potential to be overturned. But after years of litigation, the damage had already been done.

“As a starting point, the American people need to look no further than the EPA’s MATS rule to see one example of the negative impact overly broad and misguided rules have on our economy.  If there is one more compelling reason to change, this is it. The MATS rule created a large degree of uncertainty within our economy. Now, the CPP presents another front for heavy-handed and costly regulations with a thin legal basis. Businesses across our country must know how our regulatory process works, so they can plan hiring and investment with certainty  No longer should they lose a legal battle before it even begins.,” explained Marino. “This process must stop. The REVIEW Act provides a clear and certain path to ensure a proper and thorough examination of any federal agency’s most egregious rules.”