The Human Cost of Regulatory Delay

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Too often, important regulations that would protect Americans from harm are stalled for months or years in a regulatory process that has become needlessly byzantine and slow, with very real costs for workers, consumers and the broader public

August is a great time for outdoor gatherings. No one should have to worry about whether their store-bought produce is safe to consume—especially when it comes to their kids. Delays have hindered the FDA’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, slamming the brakes on necessary protections that would keep our fruit and vegetables safe. Draft rules on the safety of imported food took two years to be released, including more than one year stalled in White House review.

 As we pack up our cars and hit the road for vacation, backup cameras would give drivers needed visibility to avoid preventable accidents and deaths. Unfortunately, this auto safety rule has been in the works for more than five years, and far longer than Congress intended. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that backup cameras would prevent between 95-112 deaths and 7,072-8,374 injuries each year.

Finally, delayed energy efficiency rules have made cooling off with air conditioning more costly than necessary. The cost of the administration’s delay has already exceeded $4 billion in missed savings for consumers and businesses. The environmental damage has been no less significant.

Regulatory delays have become so severe that many are now looking into it. A newly formed Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action is holding its first hearing to investigate the problem on Aug. 1, bringing in those who know first hand the human costs of regulatory delay. Tune in to the webcast of this event and join us on Twitter to create a buzz around this hearing.