S. 951 would amend the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which governs the way that government agencies propose and establish federal regulations. Enacting the bill would codify some current practices under executive orders that aim at increasing transparency. However, S. 951 also would impose new requirements concerning agencies’ issuance of rules that have an estimated economic effect of $100 million or more annually. S. 951 also would make some existing requirements under executive orders apply to independent regulatory agencies that currently are exempt from those orders.
CBO estimates that implementing S. 951 would have a net cost of about $55 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary funds. That amount would pay for the work of additional agency personnel and contractors and would cover other administrative expenses.
CBO expects that enacting S. 951 could delay the issuance and change the content of some final rules each year. As a result, CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) expect that enacting S. 951 could affect both direct spending and revenues. In addition, enacting the bill would affect direct spending of agencies that are not funded by annual appropriations (such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB). Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, given the large number of rules issued each year and the variations in their nature and scope, CBO cannot estimate whether delaying some rules or changing their content would result in costs or savings.
CBO cannot determine whether enacting S. 951 would increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
S. 951 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.