R40957 – Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues – 9/8/2016

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Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

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Author: Robert Jay Dilger, Senior Specialist in American National Government; Richard S. Beth, Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process
Pages: 56

This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and UMRA’s implementation. It focuses on UMRA’s requirement that CBO issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules. It also assesses UMRA’s impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA’s future, focusing on UMRA’s definitions, exclusions, and exceptions that currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities. An examination of the rise of unfunded federal mandates as a national issue and a summary of UMRA’s legislative history are provided in Appendix A. Citations to UMRA points of order raised in the House and Senate are provided in Appendix B. Bills: H.R. 50, H.R. 4078, H.R. 899, H.R. 4, S. 189