January 1995 Home   Newsletters

February 1995

March 1995

President's Message: League Explores Social Issues (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Congratulations, Meda!
League Faces Full Vote Count Schedule (Arlene Ellis)
Join the Phone Bank
Voter Service to Tackle Voters Guide for 1996 Election (Arlene Ellis)
Orientation Session Scheduled (Grace Furukawa)
UH Seeks Women for Health Study
City Council Observors Needed
Board Members Sought
League Responds to Contract with America
Analysis of the Proposed Balanced Budget Amendment
League Reacts to Proposed Job Creation Act
Tell it to Washington
Education Bill Analyzed (Marion Saunders)
League Positions Outlined
Congratulations, Arlene!
League Presents a Discussion on Violence
Letters to the Editor (Mildred Walston)
Good News and Bad News
Water Allocation Issues Studied (Carol Kleppin)

League Reacts to Proposed Job Creation Act

This proposal is the boldest in its bid to reshape the federal government and has sparked deep misgivings within the League. Besides cutting taxes on capital gains income, the measure would undermine the federal government's authority to adopt regulations protecting the health and safety of the American people. Additionally, the act proposes to curb federal laws that require state and local governments to do things without providing money to cover the costs those governments will incur.

The so-called "unfunded mandate" provision sets a "no money, no mandate" requirement that says any agency will be blocked from implementing mandates that do not come with federal funding. This could undermine virtually any existing or new mandate. The "unfunded mandate" proposal also would require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to estimate the cost to state and local governments of compliance with federal rules. Any federal mandates that include unfunded compliance costs of $50 million or more would require a separate procedural vote in Congress.

The League believes the "unfunded mandate" curb relies on estimates that are impossible to quantify accurately and, because it judges the merit of regulations strictly by their costs, it does not weigh the benefits to American against the costs. Such an approach could jeopardize implementation of important programs, including motor voter and other programs favored under the League's Government positions.

Another League opposed provision of this act would create a budgetary approach to reduce and limit federal agency rule making. The CBO and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would be required to estimate compliance costs for every federal agency. A 6.5% reduction in the cost impact of regulations and mandates would be required. Then, an arbitrary cap of 5% of the gross domestic product would be set as the limit for the cost of business compliance with federal agency rules, and a 3% cap would be set for compliance costs for state and local governments. Agencies that exceed this limit would be required to achieve annual reductions.

Also, budget committees in the House and Senate would assign each congressional committee an overall budget for compliance costs for regulations promulgated by agencies under the committee's jurisdiction. House members would be allowed to call for votes to veto any legislation from a committee that has exceeded its regulatory budget.

The League opposes these legislative initiatives on the same grounds as the proposed "unfunded mandate" curb. All are based on a number of faulty assumptions, such as: CBO and OMB can estimate accurately the cost of regulations; and regulations should be judged solely on the basis of their cost to the American people. The League believes these concepts are fundamentally wrong.

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