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 PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Reddit hires first lobbyists Senate panel approves bill compelling researchers to ‘hack’ DHS MORE (R-Ohio) and is co-sponsored by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGun proposal picks up GOP support Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Agricultural trade demands investment in MAP and FMD MORE (R-Maine), Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSenate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy Mattis: Staying in Iran deal is of US national security interest MORE (I-Maine), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks Senate Homeland Security chairman backs bump-stock ban after Las Vegas shootings MORE (R-Wis.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteDems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Trump voter fraud commission sets first meeting outside DC MORE (R-N.H.), John CornynJohn CornynGun proposal picks up GOP support House bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Republicans jockey for position on immigration 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.