Lawmakers Introduce Chamber-Supported, Bipartisan Regulatory Reform Bill
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In a rare display of bipartisanship and with the full support of the U.S. Chamber, members of the Senate and House introduced legislation to restore needed checks and balances to the regulatory process and give job creators the certainty they need.
“The Regulatory Accountability Act is the most comprehensive attempt to update the rulemaking process in 65 years,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue. “The fact that its introduction is both bicameral and bipartisan demonstrates the growing understanding that there needs to be real and significant regulatory reform.”
Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced the measure, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011, at a news conference on September 22.
The U.S. Chamber along with more than 50 other business organizations sent a letter to the bill’s four co-sponsors expressing their support for the bill.
The bill would streamline and bring transparency to the regulatory process by:
- Increasing public participation in shaping the most costly regulations before they are proposed and requiring agencies to choose the least costly option unless they can demonstrate a need to protect public health, safety, or welfare.
- Giving interested parties the opportunity to hold agencies accountable for their compliance by invoking the Information Quality Act.
- Providing for on-the-record administrative hearings for the most costly regulations to ensure that agency data is well tested and reviewed.
- Restricting agencies’ ability to issue interim final regulations where no comments are taken before a regulation takes effect and providing for expedited judicial review of such an approach.
- Providing for a more rigorous test in legal challenges for those regulations that would have the most impact.
The proposed bill would only impact new rules, which means if it were enacted, it would capture most of the financial regulatory reform, health care, and new environmental rules. The bill could reach the House floor by December.
“Given the precarious condition of America’s economy and continued weakness in job creation, the Chamber believes that regulations must be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while still implementing Congressional intent,” Donohue said.
Read more on the U.S. Chamber’s Project on Regulatory Reform.