Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) has introduced H.R. 6691, the “Coronavirus Regulatory Repeal Act of 2020,” legislation that permanently repeals regulations that have been waived or suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic and creates a regulatory review commission for Congress to reinstate rules if they are truly needed.
Americans for Tax Reform supports this legislation and urges its swift passage.
Instead of using the crisis to consolidate more power in the federal government’s hands, President Trump and his administration have made deregulation a central part of the Coronavirus response. State and local governments have followed suit, leading to the suspension of over 400 rules and regulations nationwide.
ATR has kept a running list of these waived regulations, which you can view here.
Rep. Roy’s legislation would permanently waive federal regulations that have been suspended during the pandemic after the emergency period expires. The bill also establishes regulatory review commissions that are tasked with reviewing the necessity of each suspended regulation. If for some reason the regulation is truly needed in order for agencies to function properly, Congress can reinstate the rule after recommendation from the commissions.
Regulatory relief on the federal level has streamlined our national response to the Coronavirus. For example:
- The FDA has given states the power to allow their laboratories to develop COVID-19 diagnostics and testing. This step waives the requirement of labs pursuing Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, allowing states to take the responsibility for tests and diagnostics used within their borders.
- The Department of Transportation has exempted commercial truck drivers transporting emergency medical supplies from regulations limiting how many hours they can drive. This rule change gave needed flexibility to drivers that transport goods like necessary medical supplies, testing equipment, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and food required for emergency restocking of stores.
- The Trump administration has used its executive authority to temporarily cover telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries during the pandemic. This change allows patients to interact with their doctors via phone or video conferencing, at no additional cost, covering commonly used services like Facetime and Skype.
- Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has waived telehealth laws that prevented doctors from treating patients in other states. This important step allows out-of-state doctors to treat patients in areas with high demand while greatly reducing the risk of transmission from in-person visits.
The Coronavirus Regulatory Repeal Act creates an important mechanism to build on this regulatory reform by getting rid of the countless regulations that were never necessary in the first place. As the country recovers from the pandemic, cutting this onerous red tape permanently will foster innovation and help Americans continue to access the care they need.