Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (02/01/1995)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Review of Unfunded Federal Mandates

Title II: Regulatory Accountability and Reform

Title III: Legislative Accountability and Reform

Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 - Prohibits the application of this Act to any provision in a Federal statute or a proposed or final Federal regulation that: (1) enforces constitutional rights of individuals; (2) establishes or enforces any statutory rights that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicapped or disability status; (3) requires compliance with accounting and auditing procedures with respect to grants or other money or property provided by the Federal Government; (4) provides for emergency assistance or relief at the request of any State, local, or tribal government; (5) is designated as emergency legislation or is necessary for national security or international treaty purposes; or (6) pertains to social security.

Title I: Review of Unfunded Federal Mandates - Directs the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to investigate and review the role of: (1) unfunded Federal mandates in intergovernmental relations and their impact on State, local, tribal, and Federal Government objectives and responsibilities, on the competitive balance between States, local and tribal governments, on the private sector, and on working men and women; (2) unfunded State mandates imposed on local governments, the private sector, and individuals; and (3) unfunded local mandates imposed on the private sector and individuals.

(Sec. 101) Requires the Commission to make recommendations to the President and the Congress with regard to: (1) allowing flexibility where the terms of compliance are unnecessarily rigid or complex; (2) consolidating or simplifying unfunded Federal mandates in order to facilitate compliance; (3) terminating unfunded mandates which are duplicative, obsolete, or lacking in practical utility; (4) temporarily suspending those unfunded mandates which are not vital to public health and safety and which compound the fiscal difficulties of State, local, and tribal governments; and (5) establishing procedures to ensure that any relief from unfunded Federal mandates does not increase private sector burdens, and is applied to any private sector entities competing with State, local, and tribal governments in providing substantially similar goods or services to the public in the same manner and to the same extent as it is to such governments.

Title II: Regulatory Accountability and Reform - Requires each Federal agency to: (1) assess the effects of Federal regulations on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector (other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate requirements specifically set forth in legislation), including specifically the availability of resources to carry out any Federal mandates in those regulations; and (2) seek to minimize those burdens that uniquely or significantly affect such governmental entities or the private sector, consistent with achieving statutory and regulatory objectives.

(Sec. 201) Directs each agency to permit elected officials and other representatives of State, local, and tribal governments to provide meaningful and timely input in the development of regulatory proposals containing significant Federal intergovernmental mandates.

Requires each agency, before establishing regulatory requirements, to develop plans for: (1) notifying small governments of such requirements; and (2) enabling their officials to provide appropriate input into the regulatory process.

Prohibits an agency from issuing a rule that contains a Federal mandate if the rulemaking record indicates two or more methods that could be used to accomplish the objective of the rule, unless: (1) the Federal mandate is the least costly method, or has the least burdensome effect, for State, local or tribal governments, and the private sector; or (2) the agency explains why the more costly or burdensome method of the Federal mandate was adopted.

(Sec. 202) Requires Federal agencies to prepare written statements before promulgating any final rule, or issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking likely to result in promulgation of a rule, containing a Federal mandate that may result in State, local, or tribal government and private sector expenditures, in the aggregate, of $100 million or more in any one year. Requires such statement to: (1) identify the provision of Federal law under which the rule is being promulgated; and (2) contain specified estimates and analyses.

(Sec. 204) Directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish pilot programs in at least two agencies to test innovative approaches for reducing reporting and compliance burdens on small governments.

(Sec. 205) Requires annual Commission reports to the President and the Congress on Federal court rulings in the preceding calendar year which impose an enforceable duty on one or more State, local, or tribal governments.

(Sec. 206) Allows judicial review of agency actions only if such actions are subject to review under other Federal law.

Limits preliminary injunctive relief.

(Sec. 207) Requires the OMB Director to submit annual reports to the Congress on agency compliance with this title.

Title III: Legislative Accountability and Reform - Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 with respect to unfunded Federal mandates, with applicability limited in the same manner as indicated before title I.

(Sec. 301) Includes tribal governments and the private sector within the purview of mandate analysis by CBO and congressional committees.

Requires authorization committees to provide the CBO Director with the text of any legislation ordered to be reported, identifying any Federal mandate in it.

Requires the report accompanying any reported legislation with a Federal mandate to contain certain information, including statements on whether the legislation is intended to preempt any State, local, or tribal law (and the reasons for such intention), as well as individual mandate descriptions, cost-benefit analyses, and statements regarding Federal financial assistance to State, local, and tribal governments for meeting mandate costs.

Requires the CBO Director, for each piece of reported legislation, to prepare and submit to the authorizing committee certain statements estimating the direct costs of mandate compliance and the amount of authorization or budget or entitlement authority for new or increased Federal financial assistance provided to State, local, or tribal governments to meet such costs, if the estimates indicate at least a $50 million per fiscal year direct cost of all intergovernmental mandates in the legislation , or a $50 million per fiscal year direct cost of private sector mandates. Requires the CBO Director to inform the committee of any Federal intergovernmental estimate of which it is not feasible to make a reasonable estimate. Subjects any legislation without estimates to a point of order.

Requires supplemental statements to be prepared by the CBO Director for legislation reported or passed in an amended form.

Provides that, at the request of any congressional committee, the CBO Director shall: (1) consult with and assist it in analyzing any proposed legislation that may have a significant budgetary impact on State, local, or tribal governments or significant financial or employment impact on the private sector; and (2) study any legislative proposal containing a Federal mandate.

Requires the CBO Director to conduct continuing studies to enhance comparisons of budget outlays, credit authority, and tax expenditures.

Requires any congressional committee that anticipates considering any legislative proposal establishing, amending, or reauthorizing any Federal program likely to have a significant budgetary impact on any State, local, or tribal government or financial impact on the private sector to provide its views and estimates on that proposal to the applicable budget committee.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2002 to CBO to carry out this title.

Makes it out of order for the House or Senate to consider: (1) any reported nonappropriations legislation unless it has a CBO Director report (not including supplemental statements); or (2) any reported nonappropriations legislation containing a Federal intergovernmental mandate with direct costs exceeding the thresholds specified by this Act, unless it provides for new or increased budget, entitlement, or direct spending authority or makes other specified arrangements for each fiscal year to ensure that all direct costs of such mandates are provided for in order for them to be effective, or that State, local, and tribal programmatic and financial responsibilities are reduced so they do not exceed the amount of Federal funding. Makes it out of order in the House to consider a rule or order that waives the application of such provisions.

Declares that any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report reauthorizing appropriations shall not be out of order if its enactment: (1) would not result in a net increase in the aggregate amount of direct costs of Federal intergovernmental mandates; and (2) would not result in a net reduction or elimination of authorizations of appropriations for Federal financial assistance to State, local, or tribal governments for use in complying with any Federal intergovernmental mandate (or, in the case of any such net reduction or elimination, would reduce the duties imposed by the Federal intergovernmental mandate by a corresponding amount).

Requires the direct costs of a Federal mandate for a fiscal year to be determined based on estimates by the appropriate congressional budget committee.

Provides for the disposition of points of order.

(Sec. 302) Amends House rules with regard to the Committee of the Whole and Committee on Rules: (1) to make it always in order in the former, unless specifically waived according to the rule governing consideration of that measure, to strike from the portion of any bill open to amendment any Federal mandate whose direct costs exceed the prescribed threshold; and (2) to require the latter to include in its reports on waived points of order a separate item identifying all waivers of points or order relating to Federal mandates.

(Sec. 305) Repeals the State and Local Government Cost Estimate Act of 1981.