Sen. Lee Introduces Regulatory Reform Bills to Spur Economy

May 12, 2022

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the PIONEER Act today to create a federal regulatory sandbox reducing the heavy burden of federal regulations and allowing businesses to grow, develop, and innovate with an expanded degree of flexibility.  The PIONEER Act joins Sen. Lee’s LIBERATE Act as proposals to reduce burdensome regulations on businesses to spur growth and bolster the struggling economy.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute has estimated that federal regulations and intervention cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion each year. Just within federal infrastructure projects alone it is estimated that federal regulations increase a project’s cost by as much as 20%.


The LIBERATE Act, introduced in April, would create a “Regulatory Oversight and Review Task Force” that would submit reports to Congress that would include a list of regulations recommended for repeal.  All or part of the recommended repeals would be eligible for expedited procedures in both the House and the Senate.  The PIONEER Act follows Utah’s state regulatory sandbox law which has allowed businesses to expand, hire, and develop while cooperating with government to develop more efficient and effective regulatory regimes in the state.


Of the bills, Sen. Lee said, “The federal government is notorious for instituting burdensome regulations that increase costs, inhibit innovation, and rarely expire. Sadly, many of these regulations have resulted from Congress’s long history of ceding legislative authority to bureaucrats. My LIBERATE Act would require a task force to examine existing burdensome federal regulations, compile them into a list, and transmit them to Congress where lawmakers would be able to vote on their immediate repeal. Second, my PIONEER Act would create the first federal regulatory sandbox program which would waive regulations that are currently impeding the start or expansion of their business for periods of two years while adhering to certain consumer health and safety protections. These bills, combined with my REINS Act, will provide the needed regulatory reform toolbox that can tackle the massive federal regulatory burden allowing our business environment to thrive.


Sen. Lee’s regulatory reform efforts are supported by Americans for Prosperity, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Taxpayers Union, FreedomWorks, the Libertas Institute, and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.  Quotes are below.


“A mountain of needless regulations is crushing Americans by stifling the supply of energy, food, and other household goods. In contrast, smart regulatory reform will create an economy that works for everyone.  Senator Lee’s LIBERATE Act would deliver relief to Americans through a systematic, across-the-board reduction of existing rules that are not achieving their intended goals. The U.S. badly needs to put an end to overregulation that suppresses opportunity and limits innovation. Senator Lee’s plan is a visionary and bold step in the right direction.” Americans for Prosperity


“In Washington, D.C., rules and regulations are even less disciplined than federal spending is; and as we all know, that "budgeted" federal spending has plunged the nation into a $30 trillion abyss. The often ignored "hidden tax" of regulatory intervention must be brought to heel alongside spending, especially since President Biden has launched a series of self-proclaimed "Whole-of-Government" regulatory campaigns. Restoration is urgent, and must be rooted in disclosure, but most importantly in a full-throated re-establishment of Article I Congressional accountability that ends regulation without representation once and for all. Necessary steps include implementing a regulatory reduction commission like that presented in Senator Mike Lee's LIBERATE Act, as well as requiring a shirking Congress to reassume its authority over lawmaking by affirming significant new agency rules and guidance documents before they bind anyone.” Competitive Enterprise Institute


National Taxpayers Union is pleased to support Senator Lee's LIBERATE Act, which would help roll back excessive regulations and foster more economic growth. American businesses should not be burdened by outdated, unnecessary regulations as they strive to innovate, create jobs, and succeed in a difficult economy. NTU appreciates Senator Lee's efforts and looks forward to working with him to pass the LIBERATE Act. – Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union


"Today's economy is burdened by outdated bureaucratic regulations that limit or outlaw innovative new approaches to solving our problems and needs. Following the lead of his home state's legislature, Senator Lee's PIONEER Act provides a hopeful and bipartisan solution: a flexible approach to regulations that welcomes new ideas and approaches to make our world better." Connor Boyack, President of Libertas Institute


“One of the most important and intentional ways Utah has developed the strongest economy in the nation has been our relentless efforts to weed out unreasonable and overbearing government regulation that limits commerce, increases prices, hurts small business, and serves no public purpose.  The federal government would do well to follow Utah’s lead in regulatory reform, and that is exactly what Senator Mike Lee has proposed with his recent introduction of the LIBERATE Act and the PIONEER Act. These bills will combat regulatory red tape, foster innovation, and create jobs. Such principles will allow Utah to continue to thrive as the most business friendly state in the nation.” Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

For a one-pager of the PIONEER Act, click HERE.

For full text of the PIONEER Act, click HERE.

For a one-pager of the LIBERATE Act, click HERE.

For full text of the LIBERATE Act, click HERE.