Regulatory Accountability Act reintroduced in House

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is voicing its support for a House bill it says will “modernize” the federal rulemaking process.

The Regulatory Accountability Act, reintroduced in the House on Wednesday by Rep. Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteOvernight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital push Overnight Finance: Anxiety grows over Brexit vote | Investors prefer Trump to Clinton in poll | Key chairman open to censuring IRS chief Judiciary chairman signals openness to censuring IRS chief MORE (R-Va.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), is designed to curb costly regulations.  

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for the Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs Bill Kovacs said regulations are necessary to protect the public, but they need to be well designed and supported by credible data.

“The bill (House Judiciary Committee) Chairman Goodlatte and Congressman Peterson introduced today would modernize the 69-year-old ‘Administrative Procedure Act’ by requiring the most costly of rules to undergo more stringent agency analysis, and would build on established principles of good quality data, sound science, and solid economic analysis that have been embodied in past bipartisan executive orders,” he said. 

Though experts say a vote is slated for next Tuesday, Lauren Hammond, a spokeswoman for the House Judiciary Committee, said a vote has not yet been scheduled. She said the committee would like the bill, which passed in 2013 and 2014, to be voted on soon.

The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, she said, will direct the executive branch to fulfill its statutory goals in the least costly way and look for more public input to find the most efficient regulatory solutions. 

“Today, Americans face a burden of over $3 trillion from federal taxation and regulation,” Goodlatte said in a prepared statement.

"In fact, our federal regulatory burden is larger than the 2013 Gross Domestic Product of all but the top ten countries in the world and most importantly, that burden adds up to $15,000 per American household, nearly thirty percent of average household income in 2013.”

Though Goodlatte believes the bill will cut costs, pro-regulation advocates said it will be a step backwards for public health, safety and consumer protections.

“This bill rigs the regulatory process against new public safeguards and provides industry special interests a blueprint for killing new health and safety standards in court,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen. 

“It is a giveaway to big business by forcing agencies to adopt the so-called 'least costly' regulation, but one only has to look to Wall Street reform to understand that the least costly rules for Wall Street end up being the most costly for American taxpayers.”