WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the U.S. economy continues to face a tremendous amount of uncertainty months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman James Comer has filed two pieces of legislation which would knock down regulatory barriers to a recovery.

In many cases, burdensome federal regulations have created a strong barrier to responding to the COVID-19 emergency. Moving forward, many of these regulations will only serve to threaten the U.S. economy’s recovery and getting people back to work.

The Pandemic Recovery Enforcement Flexibility Act (H.R. 7923) would authorize the President to waive or suspend civil enforcement of regulations when enforcement would unreasonably obstruct recovery from the pandemic. The Pandemic Regulatory Cost Relief Act (H.R. 7922) would prohibit, during the same timeframe, the promulgation of new regulations that would increase the total costs of federal regulation to regulated entities, unless those costs are offset by corresponding cuts to red tape.

Both bills are a critical step toward removing barriers that stand in the way of jumpstarting the economy – particularly for small businesses and their employees.

“At a time when businesses are working to reopen and our economy is in need of a boost, it is critical that we remove regulatory barriers to a recovery,” Congressman Comer said. “Government spending cannot be the only solution to this crisis – especially as the national debt races past $26 trillion. Congress must put partisanship aside and act boldly to reform government regulations in a way that empowers business growth and a return to a healthy workforce.”

Both measures are part of a regulatory relief package put forward by House Republicans aimed at helping individuals and businesses recover financially from COVID-19.

Read Congressman Comer’s editorial in The Hill on the need for Congress to act on regulatory relief.


More Background:

Pandemic Regulatory Cost Relief Act of 2020

  • Minimizes increases in federal regulatory compliance costs during the coronavirus pandemic and a one-year recovery period thereafter.
  • Generally, prohibits new regulations that increase overall regulatory compliance costs for a class of regulated entities, unless the cost increase is offset by rescinding other federal regulations.
  • Includes exceptions for regulations needed to respond to the pandemic or protect national security.

?Pandemic Recovery Enforcement Flexibility Act of 2020

  • Authorizes the President to waive or suspend civil enforcement of any rule during the declared coronavirus pandemic emergency and a one-year recovery period thereafter, if the rule’s enforcement would unreasonably inhibit or impede an individual or entity from responding to or recovering from the pandemic.
  • Protects against unreasonable enforcement actions against those who are responding to or recovering from the pandemic, either health-wise or economically.
  • Allows the president to suspend or waive enforcement that unreasonably inhibits or impedes health, economic performance, or the stability of jobs and wages, specifically including access to –
    • Health care or health supplies;
    • Employment;
    • Public or private assistance;
    • Consumer or business spending, investment, or access to capital or credit; or
    • Other consumer or business activities, including hiring, education, or retraining.