Budget Committee Releases Working Paper on Regulatory Budgeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Budget Committee released its sixth in a series of working papers focused on the Committee’s effort to overhaul the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and reform the congressional budget process. The paper follows a hearing the Committee held on July 7th that examined how Congress can better measure, evaluate, and ultimately control the impacts of regulations by adopting a regulatory budget.

The working paper focuses on eight main areas:

  • The Proliferation of Rules and Regulations
  • The Dampening Effect on the Economy
  • History of Regulatory Budgeting
  • Features of a Regulatory Budget
  • Regulatory Pay-As-You-Go
  • Pros and Cons of Regulatory Budgeting
  • What Other Countries Are Doing
  • Beyond Regulatory Budgeting

In its opening, the paper notes that the proliferation of government regulations carries substantial costs both to America’s economy and our system of representative government – without an accurate means of accounting for their impact:

“In 2015, Federal agencies issued nearly 30 times as many regulations as laws that were enacted. Thus Congress cedes growing shares of its authority to an unelected fourth branch of government with ever-increasing control over Americans’ lives. The cost of regulations has been estimated at about $2 trillion a year, and one study has shown that a 10-percent increase in the quantity of Federal regulations is associated with a 0.7-percent increase in prices. The current system of cost-benefit analysis used by the administration is wildly inaccurate and prone to data manipulation. The government’s estimates, compared with the experience of those subject to regulation, paint two different pictures. In addition, regulations have effects on individual and property rights that are not readily quantifiable. Despite these facts, Congress has no systematic means of tracking, and if possible restraining, this expansion of the regulatory state.”


To learn more about the House Budget Committee’s efforts to reform the congressional budget process, visit budget.house.gov/BudgetProcessReform.

Previous budget process reform working papers: