(May 20, 9:30 a.m.) WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senators for Idaho Jim Risch and Mike Crapo joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and 25 of their Republican colleagues in urging leadership to provide businesses with regulatory relief in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the global pandemic.
“In contrast to unsustainable increases in federal spending, the easing of regulatory burdens – estimated to cost businesses as much as $1.9 trillion – will have broader macroeconomic effects by promoting competition and private investment,” the senators wrote. “We stand ready to work with you to adopt commonsense regulatory relief in an effort to promote long-term economic recovery following the COVID-19 healthcare crisis.”
In addition to Risch, Crapo, and Blackburn, other signers of the letter included Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
The letter follows:
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:
We applaud your bipartisan leadership and cooperation in responding to the unprecedented health and economic crisis that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. In that spirit, we write to urge the consideration of statutory changes to significantly reduce red tape, paperwork, and other regulatory requirements as an important step to respond to COVID-19 in general, and economic recovery in particular.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, there have been massive changes around the world to cope with the pandemic. Domestically, we have seen federal, state, and local governments struggle to protect at-risk populations through social distancing, mandatory business closures, and various shelter-in-place strategies. These measures do appear to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 infections, but they are taking a devastating toll on the economy, jobs, and people’s lives.
Since March 5, 2020, the Senate has passed four packages of legislation to respond to this extraordinary health and economic disaster. Moving forward, we must include statutory changes that permit regulatory relief for businesses small and large across every sector of the economy.
Regulatory reform, whether through paperwork reduction or removing outmoded compliance requirements, is the most efficient means of promoting economic recovery. This approach avoids the pitfalls of waste, fraud, and abuse that always accompany increased government spending. In contrast to unsustainable increases in federal spending, the easing of regulatory burdens – estimated to cost businesses as much as $1.9 trillion – will have broader macroeconomic effects by promoting competition and private investment.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We stand ready to work with you to adopt commonsense regulatory relief in an effort to promote long-term economic recovery following the COVID-19 healthcare crisis.