We Just Got SCRUBBED in the House

Very little national reporting on this, but on March 1 the House of Representatives passed HR 998, The SCRUB Act.  SCRUB stands for “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome.”  Quite a title.

SCRUB passed on essentially a party-line vote.  Just 11 Democrats and 5 Republicans broke ranks.  There have been quite a number of such party-line votes in the House already this year, and almost all of them have to do with rolling back regulations.  Useful, important regulations, for the most part, but rolling them back will allow some folks to make piles more money.

Why SCRUB is a bad idea is stated simply and clearly by the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, an organization that gathers about 150 consumer, labor, scientific, research, good government, faith, community, health, environmental, and public interest groups.  (AKA good guys.)  CSS opposed it.  So did, for example, Consumers Union and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

NRDC said SCRUB is “radical and outrageous – really almost a parody of anti-regulatory efforts.”

SCRUB will make it harder to safeguard food, pharmaceuticals, the environment, water quality, workplace safety and much much more.  SCRUB has a “cut-go” feature that requires that for every new regulation, an old one be eliminated — no matter how valuable the current set of regulations.  No need to show that any current regulation is “Unnecessarily Burdensome,” not matter what the title of the bill.

The Senate still has to act, and the President has to sign the legislation, but the votes are likely there (expect a party line vote) in the Senate and the President will sign when it reaches his desk.

But wait, there’s worth.  Read a letter from Consumer’s Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports) opposing SCRUB and two other bills, The Regulatory Improvement Act of 2017 and OIRA, the Insight, Reform and Regulatory Act.  Today (March 2) the House also passed, by a party line vote of 246-176 the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2017 (15 Democrats broke ranks, and one Republican).  OIRA passed the House on March 1, 241-184, seven Democrats and no Republicans breaking ranks.

We just got SCRUBBED.  You didn’t even have a chance to call your Congressional representatives.


About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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