Business groups put their muscle behind regulatory reform bill

Business groups put their muscle behind regulatory reform bill
© Greg Nash

Business groups are calling on the Senate to pass legislation curbing costly regulations.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday sent a letter to members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voicing broad support for the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015.

The letter, signed by chambers of commerce in Alaska, Arizona, California and Florida, among others, said federal regulations should be supported by strong and credible data and evidence, should be narrowly tailored and should impose the least burden possible.

“Unfortunately, however, because America’s regulatory process was designed nearly 70 years ago, we are now confronted with a growing number of massive, costly, and complex rules that breed uncertainty and stifle hiring and investment,” they said. “These growing regulatory burdens and the uncertainty caused by badly-written regulations are a fundamental concern to us.”

The letter includes signatures from business and trade groups in all 50 states.

The bill — which was introduced by Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanTrump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform MORE (R-Ohio) and is co-sponsored by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsOvernight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly Collins: I'm not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare MORE (R-Maine), Angus KingAngus KingSenator: No signs of GOP 'slow-walking' Russia investigation Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Conway: Dems should listen to their constituents on tax reform MORE (I-Maine), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonTrump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift GOP rep doesn’t expect a literal border wall MORE (R-Wis.), Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteBottom Line How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle THE MEMO: Trump set to notch needed win with Gorsuch MORE (R-N.H.), John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record Disconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page MORE (R-Texas) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) — would force federal agencies to do a cost-benefit analysis and adopt the least costly or most cost-effective approach when a proposed rule carries an economic impact over $1 billion annually.

The legislation also calls for on-the-record administrative hearings on the most costly regulations and for rules to be more rigorously tested when challenged in court.

The groups said the bill would improve the accountability and the integrity of the regulatory process.

President Obama has already threatened to veto the legislation, which passed the House in January.