Business groups push for regulatory transparency

ADVERTISEMENT
To settle the case, the government can enter into a consent decree that would compel them to implement the regulation without going through the traditional rule-making process of information-gathering from stakeholders. The industry groups say the process lacks transparency and costs taxpayer dollars.

The signers of the letter were a diverse coalition of industrial, energy, agriculture and chemical organizations.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced bills in the Senate and House on Thursday intended to increase transparency and allow the affected industry to have more say in the process.

“Since enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, the regulatory system has been built on the principles of public participation and open government," the groups write in the letter. “The sue and settle tactic allows agencies to circumvent these requirements and core principles built into the regulatory process that are in place to protect the public.”

“Through the process of sue-and settle rulemaking, agencies and organizations do an end-run around good government principles to achieve the policy objectives of special interests,” Chamber of Commerce Vice President Bill Kovacs said in a statement. “The Chamber applauds Senator Grassley and Representative Collins for introducing this legislation, and urges Congress to swiftly pass this legislation and enact reforms to help ensure the public has a meaningful voice in the rulemaking process.”

This isn't the first time the Chamber has supported legislation to end the sue-and-settle tactic. In 2012, it issued a report blaming the process “for many of EPA'a most controversial, economically significant regulations that have plagued the business community for the past few rears,” and Kovacs testified before the House oversight subcommittee on intergovernmental relations.

That year, a bill introduced by then-Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) made it through the House Judiciary Committee but never received a floor vote.