Article Title

Deruglatory Riders Redux


Soon after the 2010 elections placed the Republican Party in control of the House of Representatives, the House took up a number of deregulatory bills. Recognizing that deregulatory legislation had little chance of passing the Senate, which remained under the control of the Democratic Party, or of being signed by President Obama, the House leadership reprised a strategy adopted by the Republican leaders during the 104th Congress in the 1990s. The deregulatory provisions were attached as riders to much-needed legislation in an attempt to force the Senate and the President to accept the deregulatory riders to avoid the adverse consequences offailing to pass the more important bills. This Article examines the deregulatory riders of the 104th Congress and the experience to date with deregulatory riders during the 112th Congress. Although riders are not inherently good or evil, the Article concludes that riders, like the deregulatory riders examined here, that advance narrow special interests over the general public welfare represent bad public policy. The Article examines several methods for discouraging deregulatory riders, but concludes that none of them are likely to be implemented until the public signals its strong disapproval of deregulatory riders.