Senate GOP seeks regulatory 'time out'

Collins introduced the Regulatory Time-Out Act, S. 1538, which would create a moratorium on new regulations for one year.

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"Under my bill, no significant final rule that would have an adverse impact could go into effect during a 1-year moratorium," she said. "This timeout would cover major rules costing more than $100 million per year, and other rules that have been considered 'significant' under Executive orders going back to President Clinton and followed by President George W. Bush and President Obama."

Collins said one example of a rule that would be affected is the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Boiler MACT rule, which would regulate boiler emissions. Collins said this rule could force pulp and paper mills and other operations to close.

"And that is just for starters," she said. "Once these mills close, the businesses that supply them would also be forced to lay off workers. Estimates are that nearly 90,000 Americans would lose their jobs, wages would drop by $4 billion, and government at all levels would see revenues decline by a staggering $1.3 billion."

Collins noted that her bill would exempt some regulations needed to deal with emergencies, such as threats to public health and safety. It also exempts rules related to reducing the regulatory burden.

Under the bill, federal agencies would have 10 days to submit rules they believe are exempt from her moratorium.

Collins has also proposed the Clearing Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens Act, which would require agencies to examine the cost of regulations on companies before these rules are finalized.

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