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Portman, senators introduce deregulation legislation

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, and Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Pandemic Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Act, which they said would help Congress repeal or modify regulations that have impeded the nation’s ability to rapidly respond to the coronavirus pandemic and/or that would impede a future response.

Portman’s office said the Pandemic Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Act establishes an accountable, expert-led, commission to identify ineffective, unnecessary, or overly burdensome regulations that should be modified, consolidated, harmonized, or repealed to promote jobs and higher wages; reduce household expenses; improve economic performance and competitiveness; reduce compliance costs; encourage growth and innovation; improve competitiveness; and protect public health, safety, and welfare.

The bill would direct the commission to:

• Prioritize regulations where modification, consolidation, harmonization, or repeal could assist in recovery from or continued response to adverse health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and preparedness for, response to, or recovery from a future pandemic;
• Review regulations that impose disproportionately high costs on small entities, impose substantial paperwork burdens, or could be strengthened in effectiveness while reducing regulatory costs; and
• Prepare and submit to Congress a set of regulations with recommendations for modification, consolidation, or repeal.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Fox, R-North Carolina, introduced the House companion bill, H.R. 8038.

“I have long advocated reforming our regulatory system so we can appropriately account for the costs and benefits of regulations,” Portman said in a statement. “It’s never been more apparent that we need to better understand the barriers regulations place between the American people and their access to medication and health care and provide relief where we can do so safely.“