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These reforms should be supplemented by annual regulatory transparency report summaries covering what agencies are really up to in terms of numbers of rules, their costs and even justifying why they’re regulating at all. In order to be taken seriously, one must be able to be taken seriously.

For a body as image-conscious as Congress, these reforms are a golden opportunity to improve on its 15 percent approval rating.

Wayne Crews is vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the annual report, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.” Ryan Young is CEI’s fellow in regulatory studies.