Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and Senate Republicans hounded President Biden over the administration’s move to expand regulatory power and boost diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
The Senate Republicans, led by Schmitt, sent a letter, which was obtained by Breitbart News, to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Richard Revesz about the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 14094, “Modernizing Regulatory Review,” and the revision of the OMB Circular A-4, “Regulatory Analysis.”
Schmitt said in a written statement:
Biden’s latest executive order is yet another way in which this Administration will massively expand the administrative state, and small businesses and working-class families will certainly be paying the price. As if his crushing inflation wasn’t enough, the Biden Administration is trying to cram more rules and more regulations down the throats of hardworking Americans. Small business is the backbone of our economy – it is in America’s best interest to foster it’s growth, not burden main street entrepreneurs with costly regulations. We need to completely dismantle the administrative state and return power back to the people, and this executive order would only empower unelected bureaucrats. The American people deserve answers, and I’m going to fight to get them.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Ted Budd (R-NC), and John Thune (R-SD) have signed onto Schmitt’s letter.
The Missouri conservative and the Senate Republicans noted that Biden’s regulatory expansion has already cost $350 billion and added 220 million paperwork hours needed to comply with Biden’s regulations created during his first two years in office.
The GOP letter reveals that EO 14094 would enable agencies to issue more rules without conducting a “thorough” cost-benefit analysis of those regulations. Cost-benefit analyses often allow agencies and stakeholders to better consider the impact of potential regulations.
They continued, noting that OMB Circular A-4 would help the federal government conceal the true costs of regulations:
With the proposed revisions, agencies may potentially use a discount rate of 1.7 percent, lower than the previous rate of 3 percent.7 Additionally, agencies can use an even lower discount rate while considering
intergenerational benefits.8 While these changes may appear minor, a lower discount rate will allow agencies to manipulate cost-benefit analysis to supercharge the benefits.9 Concealing the true costs of a regulation only weakens faith in government, and we will not stand by as agencies use biased cost-benefit analyses to issue more regulations, especially given this Administration’s aggressive climate change and ESG agenda.
The two proposals would also expand diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements in drafting new regulations:
EO 14094 implements a new “Inclusive Regulatory Policy and Public Participation” process. The language behind this new process gives us great pause. This new “inclusive” regulatory review system would “promote equitable and meaningful participation by a range of interested or affected parties, including underserved communities.”10 Further, OMB Circular A-4 expands the analysis of the distributional effect of a rule. As proposed, agencies must lend greater consideration to “the impact of a regulatory action across the population and economy, divided up in various ways (e.g., income groups, race or ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, occupation, or geography; or relevant categories for firms, including firm size and industrial sector).”11 A reading of the EO and Circular together demonstrates the Administration prioritizing diversity targets over expertise and merit. We remain concerned that this over-prioritization of DEI would negatively influence regulatory review, resulting in more costly and intrusive regulations issued.
Schmitt has worked since he entered the Senate to rein in the federal government’s unaccountable bureaucracy. He has introduced the Expediting Reform And Stopping Regulations (ERASER) Act that would unravel the administrative state, cosponsored Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) Guidance Out of Darkness (GOOD) Act, cosponsored Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) Public Service Reform Act, and backed Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.
Notably, Senate Republicans have backed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) efforts to negotiate a debt ceiling deal with President Joe Biden. The House-passed debt ceiling bill, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, contains the REINS Act.
The Republicans said, “These changes will supercharge the growth of the administrative state, further misbalancing the separation of powers in the federal government.”
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.