House eyes tighter rules for reporting cost of regs

The House is expected to vote on a bill next week that will force federal agencies to notify and solicit feedback from businesses when drafting a rule.

The Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2015 aims to give the public and Congress more information about how much an unfunded federal mandate would cost and what impact it would have on the economy.

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But the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) says the bill would give businesses special access to regulators and block hypothetical future rules without the public knowing.  

“The Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act lets big business write the rules,” Katherine McFate, president of the Center for Effective Government and CSS co-chair, said in a statement.

“It doesn’t improve or streamline the regulatory process, which is already plagued by hurdles and delays. This act would make it even more difficult for agencies to implement laws enacted by Congress.”

The legislation would expand the scope of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and create stricter requirements for how and when agencies must disclose the cost of rules.

“Transparency and accountability are not partisan issues,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann Foxx58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill The GOP's commitment to electing talented women can help party retake the House When disaster relief hurts MORE (R-N.C.). “This legislation is purely about making government work better for the American people by requiring openness and honesty from Washington about the true cost of regulations, whether those costs come in dollars or in lost jobs."