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PANEL OKS BENNETT MEASURE ON MANDATES

SHARE PANEL OKS BENNETT MEASURE ON MANDATES

Congress talks a lot about "unfunded mandates" - or giving states duties without money to pay for them. Now, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, will have it talking about such unfunded mandates on private businesses, too.

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee adopted an amendment by Bennett that would force Congress and the executive branch to reveal the cost of new laws and regulations on the private sector before they are adopted.That was immediately hailed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"It is time that the public is told the cost of an unfunded mandate on the private sector before Congress votes on it," said Lorraine Lavet, the chamber's director of domestic policy.

"The federal government must recognize that the private sector can no longer afford to pay for Congress' pet projects."

Of course, various committees are currently debating what may be the mother of all unfunded mandates on businesses - forcing employers to give health insurance coverage to all workers.

Bennett's amendment was attached to the Small Governments Regulatory Improvement and Innovation Act. It now moves to the Senate floor.