< Back to H.R. 122 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)

Text of the Regulatory Sunset Act of 1995

This bill was introduced on January 4, 1995, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 4, 1995 (Introduced).

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HR 122 IH

104th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 122

To establish the Regulatory Sunset Commission to review regulations of executive agencies, and to provide for the automatic termination of regulations that are not authorized by the Commission to continue in effect.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 4, 1995

Mr. CHAPMAN introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and, in addition, to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To establish the Regulatory Sunset Commission to review regulations of executive agencies, and to provide for the automatic termination of regulations that are not authorized by the Commission to continue in effect.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Regulatory Sunset Act of 1995’.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purposes of this Act are the following:

      (1) To require agencies to regularly review their regulations and make recommendations to terminate, continue in effect, or modify those regulations.

      (2) To designate a Regulatory Review Officer within each agency, who is responsible for furthering compliance by the agency with the requirements of this Act.

      (3) To establish a Commission to perform sunset reviews of all agency regulations.

      (4) To provide for the automatic termination of agency regulations that are not authorized by the Commission to continue in effect after such reviews.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) AGENCY- The term ‘agency’ means an Executive agency, as that term is defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) REGULATION- The term ‘regulation’ means a rule, as that term is defined in section 551(4) of title 5, United States Code, that is issued by an agency.

      (3) COMMISSION- The term ‘Commission’ means the Regulatory Sunset Commission established by section 103.

TITLE I--SUNSET REVIEWS

SEC. 101. REVIEW AND TERMINATION OF REGULATIONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), regulations shall be reviewed by the Commission and terminate as follows:

      (1) EXISTING REGULATIONS- A regulation in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act--

        (A) shall be reviewed by the Commission before the end of the 7-year period beginning on that date of enactment, and

        (B) shall not be effective after that 7-year period, unless before the end of that period the regulation is reviewed and authorized by the Commission to continue in effect in accordance with this Act.

      (2) NEW REGULATIONS- A regulation that is first effective after that date of enactment--

        (A) shall be reviewed by the Commission before the end of the 3-year period beginning on the first date it is effective, and

        (B) shall not be effective after that 3-year period, unless before the end of that period the regulation is reviewed and authorized by the Commission to continue in effect in accordance with this Act.

      (3) REGULATIONS CONTINUED IN EFFECT- A regulation that is reviewed and authorized by the Commission to continue in effect under this subsection or subsection (b)(3)--

        (A) shall be reviewed by the Commission before the end of the 7-year period beginning on the date of the last such authorization, and

        (B) shall not be effective after the end of that 7-year period, unless before the end of that period the regulation is reviewed and authorized by the Commission to continue in effect in accordance with this Act.

    (b) CONTINUED EFFECTIVENESS WITH RESPECT TO MODIFICATIONS-

      (1) 6-MONTH EXTENSION- A regulation that would otherwise terminate under subsection (a) shall continue in effect for the 6-month period beginning on the date on which that termination would occur, if the Commission includes in a report under section 102(d) for the regulation any recommendation of modifications that should be made to the regulation.

      (2) SUBSEQUENT REVIEW- Before the end of the 6-month period under paragraph (1) for a regulation, the Commission shall review the regulation and determine whether the modifications recommended by the Commission have been made.

      (3) FURTHER EXTENSION- The Commission shall authorize a regulation continued in effect under paragraph (1) to continue in effect for the 7-year period beginning on the first day of the 6-month period for the regulation under paragraph (1), if the Commission determines in accordance with paragraph (2) that the modifications recommended by the Commission have been made.

SEC. 102. REVIEW OF REGULATIONS BY COMMISSION.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall--

      (1) continuously review all regulations in accordance with section 101 and this section;

      (2) make determinations regarding whether regulations should terminate or be authorized to continue in effect;

      (3) recommend modifications that should be made to regulations; and

      (4) authorize regulations to continue in effect, as determined by the Commission to be appropriate.

    (b) CRITERIA FOR REVIEW- The Commission shall consider the following criteria in determining whether a regulation should terminate, is authorized to continue in effect, or should be modified:

      (1) The extent to which the regulation is outdated, obsolete, or unnecessary.

      (2) The extent to which the regulation or information required to comply with a regulation duplicates, conflicts with, or overlaps requirements under regulations of other agencies.

      (3) The extent to which the regulation impedes competition.

      (4) Whether the benefits to society from the regulation exceed the costs to society from the regulation.

      (5) Whether the regulation is based on adequate and correct information.

      (6) Whether the regulation is worded as simply and clearly as possible.

      (7) Whether the most cost-effective alternative was chosen in the regulation to achieve the objective of the regulation.

      (8) The extent to which information requirements under the regulation can be reduced, particularly for small businesses.

      (9) Whether the regulation is fashioned to maximize net benefits to society.

      (10) Whether the regulation is clear and certain regarding who is subject to the regulation.

      (11) Whether the regulation is crafted to minimize needless litigation.

      (12) Whether the condition of the economy and of regulated industries is considered.

      (13) Whether the regulation imposes on the private sector the minimum economic burdens necessary to achieve the purposes of the regulation.

      (14) Whether the total effect of the regulation across agencies has been examined.

      (15) Whether the regulation relies on market mechanisms.

      (16) Whether the regulation is necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.

      (17) Whether the regulation has resulted in unintended consequences.

    (c) REVIEW REQUIREMENTS- For purposes of conducting reviews of regulations under this Act, the Commission shall--

      (1) receive and consider testimony and comments from the private sector regarding the application of the criteria set forth in section 102(b) to existing regulations;

      (2) review agency reports on regulations submitted under section 201(2); and

      (3) publish schedules of Commission reviews of regulations, that provide reasonable notice of those reviews to agencies.

    (d) REPORTS- The Commission shall submit to the President and the Congress and publish in the Federal Register reports on regulations, before the date of the termination of the regulations under section 101, which include--

      (1) determinations of whether the regulations should terminate, are authorized to continue in effect, or should be modified;

      (2) recommendations of any modifications to the regulations that should be made to the regulations;

      (3) other information the Commission considers necessary for a complete evaluation of the regulations; and

      (4) findings and recommendations for legislative or administrative action the Commission considers appropriate.

SEC. 103. ESTABLISHMENT OF REGULATORY SUNSET COMMISSION.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a Commission to be known as the Regulatory Sunset Commission.

    (b) MEMBERSHIP-

      (1) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT- The Commission shall consist of 9 members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from among individuals who are qualified to serve on the Commission by virtue of their education, training, or experience.

      (2) CONGRESSIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS- The majority leader and minority leader of the Senate and the Speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives may submit recommendations to the President concerning appointments to the Commission.

      (3) LIMITATION ON POLITICAL AFFILIATION- Not more than 5 members of the Commission may be members of the same political party.

      (4) CHAIRPERSON- The President shall designate a member of the Commission as the Chairperson of the Commission.

    (c) TERMS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), the term of an individual as a member of the Commission shall be 6 years.

      (2) INITIAL APPOINTMENTS- Of the individuals first appointed as members of the Commission, as specified by the President--

        (A) 3 shall be appointed to an initial term of 2 years;

        (B) 3 shall be appointed to an initial term of 4 years; and

        (C) 3 shall be appointed to an initial term of 6 years.

      (3) COMPLETION OF TERM OF VACATED MEMBERSHIP- A member of the Commission appointed to fill a vacancy on the Commission occurring before the expiration of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall serve pursuant to that appointment only for the remainder of that term.

      (4) LIMITATION ON REAPPOINTMENT- An individual may not serve more than 2 terms as a member of the Commission.

    (d) EFFECT AND FILLING OF VACANCIES- A vacancy on the Commission shall not impair the authority of the remaining members of the Commission to exercise the powers of the Commission.

    (e) COMPENSATION-

      (1) IN GENERAL- A member of the Commission, other than the Chairperson, shall be paid at a rate equal to the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule.

      (2) CHAIRPERSON- The Chairperson of the Commission shall be paid at a rate equal to the rate of basic pay payable for level II of the Executive Schedule.

    (f) MEETINGS- The Commission shall meet on a regular basis, at the call of the Chairperson of the Commission or a majority of its members.

    (g) QUORUM- A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business but a lesser number may hold hearings.

    (h) PROHIBITION ON OTHER ACTIVITIES OF MEMBERS- A member of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment.

    (i) REMOVAL OF MEMBER- Any member of the Commission may be removed by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

SEC. 104. STAFF OF COMMISSION.

    (a) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR- The Commission may appoint an executive director, who may be paid at a rate determined by the Commission.

    (b) STAFF- The Commission may appoint such professional and clerical personnel as may be reasonable and necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions, who may be paid at rates determined by the Commission.

    (c) OTHER FEDERAL PERSONNEL- Upon request of the Chairman of the Commission, the head of an agency may detail to the Commission, without reimbursement, any personnel of the agency to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this Act. Such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

SEC. 105. POWERS OF COMMISSION.

    (a) HEARINGS AND MEETINGS- The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at times and places, take testimony, and receive evidence as the Commission considers appropriate.

    (b) CONTRACTUAL AUTHORITY- The Commission may contract with and compensate government and private agencies or persons for supplies or services necessary to fulfill the duties of the Commission.

SEC. 106. LIMITATION ON ACTIONS FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a determination of the Commission shall be subject to judicial review only in an action brought no later than 30 days after the issuance of the determination.

SEC. 107. ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND RECORDS OF AGENCIES.

    The Commission may secure directly from any agency such information as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its duties. Upon request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of an agency shall, to the extent not otherwise prohibited by law, furnish such information to the Commission. The Commission shall have access to, and may inspect, records of any agency to obtain that information.

TITLE II--AGENCY ROLE IN SUNSET REVIEWS

SEC. 201. AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.

    The head of each agency shall--

      (1) conduct thorough and systematic reviews, based on the criteria set forth in section 102(b), of all regulations of the agency;

      (2) prepare and transmit to the Commission a report on regulations of the agency, by not later than 1 year prior to the date on which the regulations are scheduled to be reviewed under schedules published by the Commission under section 102(c)(3), which includes--

        (A) specific findings regarding the criteria set forth in section 102(b) with respect to each regulation;

        (B) recommendations on whether each regulation should terminate, be authorized to continue in effect, or be modified; and

        (C) recommendations on the consolidation of any of the regulations with other regulations that duplicate functions of the regulations; and

      (3) publish in the Federal Register responses to determinations of the Commission in its reports under subsection (d) of section 102, including--

        (A) responses to recommendations by the Commission of modifications in regulations of the agency; and

        (B) descriptions of the actions to be taken by the agency in response to all recommendations of the Commission under that section.

SEC. 202. DESIGNATION OF AGENCY REGULATORY REVIEW OFFICERS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- There shall be within each agency a Regulatory Review Officer, who shall be designated by the head of the agency from among officials of the agency.

    (b) FUNCTIONS- The Regulatory Review Officer of an agency shall--

      (1) further the compliance by the agency with the requirements of this Act; and

      (2) report directly to the head of the agency with respect to the function under paragraph (1).