Recommendations > Recommendation Detail

The Challenge: Complex Regulations and Permitting Processes can be Improved

Intelligent regulations are essential to protect Americans and set a level playing field for competition. Yet sensible rules should never morph into bureaucratic nightmares of delay, duplication and complexity.

Jobs Council Recommendation: Streamline Regulations to Create Substantial Change and Targeted, Immediate Impact

To make the U.S. competitive and to speed the creation of jobs already in the pipeline, we need to adopt global best practices to streamline approval processes and use common sense metrics to measure progress. The Jobs Council has focused on several areas of substantial impact – broad areas of regulatory reform that could accelerate job creation – and has worked closely with the administration on a number of specifically targeted initiatives to create an immediate impact.

Creating Substantial Change

Reform Permitting Processes to Accelerate Job Creation

The current system for permitting and approving job-creating projects, which involves federal, state and local agencies, can lead to delays, litigation, and inconsistent standards. This is true of transportation projects in particular. The Jobs Council has proposed and is working closely with the Administration to improve the federal permitting process. The thrust is to give stakeholders visibility into the process, deliver timely reviews, and avoid duplicative analysis and requirements. Highlights recommendations include:

  • Data collection and transparency.
  • Early stakeholder engagement.
  • Centralized monitoring and accountability for federal agency performance.
  • Limiting duplication among local, state, and federal agency reviews.
  • Improve litigation management.

Conduct Regulatory Process Reform for Independent Regulatory Commissions (IRCs)

Since the Reagan Administration, every U.S. President has required that executive branch agencies submit significant proposed regulatory actions and related analyses to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review. Unfortunately, this does apply to IRCs, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Jobs Council recommends that legislation be passed that requires IRCs conduct cost-benefit analysis for all new “economically significant” regulatory actions.

Creating Immediate Impact

Boost Tourism by Reforming the Visa Process

Between 2000 and 2010, the global long-haul travel market grew by 60 million travelers each year. Yet the U.S. share of this market fell from 17% to 12.4%. If we make it a national priority to increase our share, we could potentially add up to $390 billion in international visitor spending. The Jobs Council believes that improving the tourist visa process can help allow the U.S. to compete for the global tourist dollar while protecting national security.

Improve FDA Approval Process

The U.S. has long been the global leader in medical innovation, leading to improved quality of life for patients and the creation of millions of high quality American jobs. Today, however, investment in the life sciences area is declining because of the escalating cost, time, and risk of developing new drugs and devices. The Jobs Council recommends that the FDA undertake reforms to the approval process that protect patients from harm while also enabling the timely development and availability of new therapies and technologies.

Streamline Patent Application Processes

Congress recently passed the first major reform of our patent system in decades. But there’s still a long way to go to streamline the process. The Jobs Council recommends that the US Patent and Trademark Office reduce the average delay in patent processing times, and use “lean” reform techniques to speed up the cumbersome patent process.

Speed Payments to Small Federal Suppliers

The federal government pays small businesses nearly $100 billion each year for goods and services, typically paying 30 days after being invoiced. For small firms in tough times, that wait can be costly. At the Council’s urging, the President has directed the federal government to implement new terms so that small suppliers will be paid in 15 days, thus boosting their working capital.