OVERVIEW

ABC is committed to reforming the broken federal regulatory process and ensuring industry stakeholders' voices are heard and rights are protected.

ABC SUPPORTS
  • Comprehensive regulatory reform should include across-the-board requirements for agencies to evaluate the risks, weigh the costs and assess the benefits of regulations. This will better allocate limited resources and target efforts toward achieving the construction industry’s collective environmental, health and safety goals.
  • Periodic review of regulations to ensure they are necessary, current and cost-effective. The construction industry should not be forced to operate according to burdensome, unjustified, outdated or inappropriate rules.
  • Legislation that would reform the Administrative Procedure Act by strengthening existing checks on federal agencies. This would foster more cost-effective regulations through a more transparent process.
  • Legislation that would require federal agencies to more closely examine regulatory impacts on small businesses.
  • Legislation that would streamline the current process for developers and contractors to obtain federal environmental permits and approvals. This would prevent jobs from being deferred or never being created because of dysfunctional permitting processes.
ABC OPPOSES
  • Unnecessary, burdensome and costly regulations resulting from the efforts of Washington bureaucrats who have little accountability for their actions.
  • Subregulatory, “de facto” rulemaking, in which regulatory provisions are proposed as guidance or administrative interpretations in an effort to circumvent federal rulemaking procedures and avoid stakeholder participation.
BACKGROUND

ABC members understand the value of standards and regulations when they are based on solid evidence, with appropriate consideration paid to implementation costs and input from the business community. In some cases, however, regulations are based on conjecture and speculation, lacking foundation in sound scientific analysis.

ABC strongly supports comprehensive regulatory reform, which should include across-the-board requirements for agencies to evaluate the risks, weigh the costs and assess the benefits of regulations. This will better allocate limited resources and target efforts toward achieving the collective environmental, health and safety goals for the construction industry.

New rulemakings should contain reasonable sunset clauses, and existing regulations should also be reviewed periodically to ensure that they are necessary, current and cost-effective. The construction industry should not be forced to operate according to burdensome, unjustified, outdated or inappropriate rules.

For the construction industry, unjustified and unnecessary regulations translate to higher costs, which are then passed along to the consumer or lead to construction projects becoming unaffordable. This chain reaction ultimately results in fewer projects and hinders businesses’ ability to hire and expand.

Finally, federal agencies must be held accountable for full compliance with existing rulemaking statutes and requirements when promulgating regulations to ensure they are necessary, current and cost-effective for businesses to implement.

UPDATE

Sen. Rand Paul (R- Ky.) reintroduced the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (S. 68) during the 117th Congress, which ABC supported during the 116th Congress. The REINS Act requires Congress to pass a joint resolution of approval before any new major rule (defined as having an impact of $100 million or more) takes effect, which would bring greater transparency and accountability to the federal rulemaking process. The REINS Act would ensure that Congress is held accountable for the impact that finalized rules have on the business community and the American people. 

On Jan. 20, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 13992, which rescinded President Trump‘s EO 13771 on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which cut the amount of regulations created and implemented a so-called “one in, two out” policy. Additionally, EO 13992 revoked Trump EO 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, which established regulatory reform officers to oversee regulatory reform within government agencies and created the Regulatory Reform Task Force.