Hundreds of associations and state chambers of commerce, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan (R-Wis), along with other House leadership, urging them to make consideration of the Regulatory Accountability Act a priority for the 115th Congress once it convenes. Stating, "We believe that federal regulations should be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while still implementing Congressional intent," the groups assert that it would allow Congress and the public to "reassert control over a federal regulatory bureaucracy that is opaque, unaccountable, and often unfair."
H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, introduced by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn), seeks to modernize the Administrative Procedure Act by strengthening cost-benefit analysis across all agencies, improving transparency in the rulemaking process, and providing a more rigorous examination of facts underlying the most expensive rules. The letter states that the legislation "builds on established principles of fair regulatory process and review."
The letter highlighted the following objectives of the legislation:
- increasing public participation in shaping the most costly regulations at an earlier point in the rulemaking process;
- instructing agencies to choose the least costly option that achieves congressional intent unless they can show a costlier option is needed to protect health, safety, or welfare;
- requiring on-the-record administrative hearings for the most costly regulations to insure that agency data is sound and that agencies are not relying on self-serving assumptions;
- restricting agencies’ use of interim final regulations; and
- providing for a more rigorous test in legal challenges for those regulations that would have the most impact.
Companies: U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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