Federal regulations drained an estimated $1.9 trillion from the American economy. That’s as much as the world’s tenth ranked economy – bigger than entire GDPs of Canada or India.

Federal red tape feels endless and yet each day, new regulations are added to the books in every sector of business and private life. Congress aims to halt – or at least slowdown- the process through a bi-partisan bill passed this week that would require federal agencies to estimate economic costs of regulations.

Some 79,000 pages of regulations filled the 2013 Federal Register costing an average price of $10,585 per employee for small business with fewer than 20 employees to comply. If you think that stymies our economy, you’re right.

This new bill, which already is under threat of veto by President Obama, would hold all federal agencies accountable for the new rules they are imposing on business. Under this bill, all agencies would be required to hold public hearings for rules that are expected to be particularly costly (a little vague), submit an advance notice of proposed rule-making 90 days before announcing any major rules, and allow regulations to be challenged in court before being finalized.

Frankly, this is injecting more transparency in the rule-making process. It’s also a strategy to slow down the introduction of new rules and invite the opportunity to challenge -and perhaps change- or overrule the regulations.

The bill narrowly passed the House on a largely partisan vote although a few Democratic members joined the fight.

The Hill reports:

Republicans said the changes would help create regulations with more public input.

“In a nutshell, this bill says to every agency — fulfill the statutory goals the United States Congress has set for you,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the bill’s sponsor. “But as you achieve those goals, make sure you do it with better public input, better-tested information, and in the least costly way.”

But Democrats argued the bill would undermine the regulatory process and hinder attempts to help the public.

But the legislation attracted some support from centrists like Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who co-sponsored it.

“Our farmers, ranchers, business are all feeling the burden of increased regulation, and we need to act to ensure that they’re not regulated out of business,” Peterson said.

With a new Congress in place, the Senate should be less of an initial hurdle. However, because the President is already threatening a veto, to overcome this, the Senate would need more than just a simple majority of votes and this will undoubtedly be difficult. If passed, this bill promises to throw a monkey wrench in the President’s plans to rule by pen over the next two years, using the regulatory process as his vehicle of choice.

It’s unacceptable that in 2013, American workers toiled until July 13 to pay for all the costs imposed by government spending and regulation at the federal, state and local levels. Perhaps if implemented, we can stop the compounding of days and reverse the trend. Government should be working for us not the other way round.