Summary: H.R.998 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (03/01/2017)

Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act or the SCRUB Act


(Sec. 101) This bill establishes the Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission to conduct a review of the Code of Federal Regulations to identify rules and sets of rules that collectively implement a regulatory program that should be repealed to lower the cost of regulation. The commission shall give priority to the review of rules or sets of rules that are major rules or that include major rules, that have been in effect more than 15 years, that impose paperwork burdens or unfunded mandates that could be reduced substantially without significantly diminishing regulatory effectiveness, that impose disproportionately high costs on small entities, or that could be strengthened in their effectiveness while reducing regulatory costs. The commission's goal is to achieve a reduction of at least 15% in the cumulative costs of regulation with a minimal reduction in the overall effectiveness of such regulation.

Criteria the commission shall use in identifying which rules and sets of rules should be repealed include whether:

  • the original purpose of the rules was achieved;
  • the implementation, compliance, administration, enforcement, imposition of unfunded mandates, or other costs of the rules are not justified by a cost-benefit analysis;
  • the rules have been rendered unnecessary or obsolete;
  • the rules are ineffective at achieving their purposes;
  • the rules overlap, duplicate, or conflict with other federal, state, or local rules;
  • the rules have excessive compliance costs, impose unfunded mandates, or are otherwise excessively burdensome compared to possible alternatives;
  • the rules inhibit innovation or harm competition;
  • the rules limit or prevent an agency from applying new or emerging technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness of government;
  • the rules harm wage growth, including wage growth for minimum wage and part-time workers;
  • the agency complied with Congressional Review Act requirements to submit the rules to Congress and the Government Accountability Office before the rules take effect; and
  • a repeal would impact public health.

The commission shall terminate on the later of five years and 180 days after the enactment of this bill or five years after the date by which the terms of all members of the commission have commenced.

The bill requires congressional consideration and enactment of a joint resolution of approval of recommendations of the commission for the repeal of a rule or rules prior to agency implementation of a repeal. An agency is prohibited from: (1) reissuing rules substantially similar to rules repealed by this bill without congressional approval, or (2) issuing a new rule that results in the same adverse effects of a repealed rule.

The commission shall establish a public website to provide information in a standard data format and shall receive and publish public comments at no cost to the public.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act shall apply to the commission.


(Sec. 201) This title requires agencies, when making a new rule, to repeal rules or sets of rules classified by the commission as recommended for repeal to offset the costs of the new rule (cut-go procedure).

(Sec. 202) Agencies are exempted from cut-go requirements when the commission has implemented the repeal of all rules and sets of rules that the commission has recommended for repeal.

(Sec. 203) The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget shall review and certify the accuracy of agency determinations of the cost of new rules subject to cut-go requirements.


(Sec. 301) This title requires an agency, when issuing a new rule, to include a plan for the review of such rule not later than 10 years after the date of such rule.


(Sec. 401) This title allows judicial review of repeals of regulations, cut-go procedures, and plans for future review.


(Sec. 501) A "major rule" is defined to mean any rule that OIRA determines is likely to impose: (1) an annual cost on the economy of $100 million or more, adjusted annually for inflation; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions; (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises; or (4) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy.