06.10.16

Daily Mail Editorial: Bipartisan Review Seeks to Change Old Law

In an all-too-rare example of Congress working as it should, the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved House-backed legislation to rewrite the nation’s chemical safety laws. All five members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation supported the bill.

The legislation marks the first significant changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act in nearly 40 years. In a statement, Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said the bill “will protect our families and provide regulatory certainty to our businesses and manufacturers.”

The 2014 Freedom Industries chemical spill helped drive some members of our congressional delegation to revisit the TSCA and seek a rewrite, the Gazette-Mail’s Ken Ward Jr. reported.

“Updating chemical safety laws is necessary to protect families and communities, and making sure we can properly manage toxic chemicals and prepare for the unlikely event of a chemical accident,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.

On the one hand, Congress should be applauded for reviewing the Toxic Substances Control Act and taking the initiative to modernize the outdated, inefficient law.

But on the other hand, isn’t that one of the main functions of Congress — to periodically revisit, review and revise past legislation to update or repeal it?

Federal and state governments are bloated with outdated, obsolete policies and laws. Those laws, some written decades ago, might have worked back then. But with progress in science and technology and an ever-changing culture, many of those policies have been abandoned or aren’t enforced yet remain on the books.

Laws and government rules should be reviewed regularly to avoid redundancies, duplication, irrelevance and, most importantly, regulatory creep. Eliminating or rewriting old laws so they work well in modern society is important. As America changes, along with our knowledge and understanding, so too must the laws that govern our nation, our economy and our environment.


Source: Daily Mail Opinion Page of the Charleston Gazette-Mail