CEOs put their stamp of approval on regulations bill

The Regulatory Accountability Act, introduced last week by a bipartisan group of 16 lawmakers from both chambers, would require extensive cost-benefit analysis of proposed rules with an impact to the economy of $1 million or more. Rules projected to cost $1 billion or more would trigger congressional hearings. 

“This legislation is critical to streamlining and simplifying unnecessarily complex, redundant and sometimes contradictory regulations that can stall the engine of our economy,” said Liveris, who is also chairman of the Business Roundtable’s Select Committee on Smart Regulation.

“Done well, regulations can be integral to protecting the economy and the American workforce, as well as protect against fraud, waste and abuse,” he added.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was among the first groups to offer support for the Regulatory Accountability Act after it was introduced, saying it would represent the first major improvements to the rulemaking process in 60 years.

“Our regulatory process has not been updated in more than six decades, and as a result, we are seeing a rising number of massive, costly rules that breed uncertainty, drive up costs, and stifle hiring and investment,” Bill Kovacs, senior vice president of regulatory affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Rob. Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the Senate version of the bill, with the initial co-sponsorship of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).

House Judiciary Committee members Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) are co-sponsors of the House companion bill, which gained the support of Reps. Colin Peterson (D-Minn.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.).

Similar legislation passed the House in 2011, only to die in the Senate.