H.R. 50 would amend the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) to increase the information available to the Congress and the public concerning federal mandates in proposed legislation and regulations. Enacting the bill would codify many current practices of federal agencies as they analyze the potential effects of proposed regulations. The bill also would broaden the coverage of UMRA to require independent regulatory agencies to comply with standards relating to rulemaking and to allow judicial review of regulatory actions that fail to comply with that law. Under current law, independent regulatory agencies are exempt from complying with UMRA.
H.R. 50 also would amend the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to establish a point of order that a Member of Congress may raise against legislation that creates a private-sector mandate with costs above the threshold established in UMRA. The bill also would require CBO, upon request, to assess the costs to state, local, and tribal governments resulting from legislation that would change conditions that must be met to receive federal assistance.
CBO estimates that carrying out the new requirements placed on independent regulatory agencies would require additional resources. Assuming the appropriation of necessary amounts, CBO estimates implementing the bill would have a net discretionary cost of $6 million over the 2019-2023 period.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 50 would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any net change in direct spending would not be significant. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 50 would not significantly increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
H.R. 50 would increase the costs of existing mandates on public and private-sector entities to pay fees, but CBO estimates that the additional costs would be small and would fall well below the annual thresholds for intergovernmental and private-sector mandates established in UMRA ($80 million and $160 million in 2018, respectively, adjusted annually for inflation).
The intergovernmental and private-sector cost thresholds established in UMRA were $50 million and $100 million, respectively, in 1996; they are adjusted annually for inflation. In 2018, the thresholds are $80 million for intergovernmental mandates and $160 million for private-sector mandates.