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Hearings of the
Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House

H.R. 350 - Mandates Information Act of 1999


On February 2, 1999, the Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House and the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process held a joint hearing to review H.R. 350 and its implementation under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The Committee on Rules received testimony from the Hon. Gary Condit (D-CA); the Hon. Rob Portman (R-OH); the Hon. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY); Mr. Jim Blum, Acting Director of the Congressional Budget Office; Mr. Ryan Null, Owner of Tristate Electronic Manufacturing; Ms. Angela Antonelli, Heritage Foundation Director for Economic Policy Studies; and Ms. Maura Kealey, Deputy Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.

The purpose of the hearing was to review the implications of expanding the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act point of order procedures to private sector mandates. In particular, the hearing examined H.R. 350, the Mandates Information Act of 1999, legislation that is intended to increase congressional accountability and public awareness, and to improve congressional deliberation on proposed Federal private sector mandates.

On March 22, 1995, President Clinton signed into law the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, which amended title IV of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974. A key component of the Republican "Contract With America," UMRA was one of the first bills enacted by the 104th Congress. The law, which took effect on January 1, 1996, was designed to provide information to Congress and the public about Federal mandates on state and local governments without full information on the costs and effects of such legislation.