By Benjamin Goad - 03/21/13 09:51 PM EDT
“Giant corporations are hoping to sneak provisions into the rushed Senate budget bill to undermine the core regulatory protections on which Americans rely to make our country stronger, better, safer, cleaner, healthier and more fair and just,” said Robert Weissman, who serves as co-chair of the coalition and president of Public Citizen.
At least eight of the proposed amendments are aimed directly at the regulations. They include measures seeking to require agencies to beef up studies looking at the costs of new rules and placing a moratorium on new rules until employment falls below a certain threshold, according to the group.
Some of the amendments target specific regulations, including a measure pressed by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to protect small farmers from rules designed to regulate oil refineries, and a proposal from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) involving fishing industry rules.
The coalition — whose members include consumer, health, labor and environmental groups — is targeting the amendments that seek to modify the regulatory process.
Among them is an amendment that would require agencies to balance the benefits of new rules against “unknowable” indirect costs to the private sector, the coalition said. The group said the amendment, if passed, would cause delays in the enactment of important rules.
“The last thing we need are damaging budget amendments that would throw up more roadblocks to protecting American families and communities, said Katherine McFate, a coalition co-chair and president of the Center for Effective Government.
Another amendment would extend the cost-benefit analysis mandates to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other independent regulators who are currently not required to conduct the reviews. The added requirement, the coalition argued, would impair the regulators' ability to respond to crises.