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On Dec. 5, ABC, along with a broad coalition of 380 stakeholders, sent a letter to Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urging him to make the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) an early priority for the 115th Congress.  The bill seeks to improve the transparency of regulations by requiring agencies to invest more effort earlier in the rulemaking process to gather data, evaluate alternatives, and receive public input about the costs and benefits of its rules.

The RAA includes several provisions would make the regulatory process more accountable to Congress and the American public:

  • Increasing public participation in shaping the most costly regulations at an earlier point in the rulemaking process
  • Instructing agencies to choose the least costly option that achieves congressional intent unless they can show a costlier option is needed to protect health, safety, or welfare
  • Requiring on-the-record administrative hearings for the most costly regulations to insure that agency data is sound and that agencies are not relying on self-serving assumptions
  • Restricting agencies’ use of interim final regulations
  • Providing for a more rigorous test in legal challenges for those regulations that would have the most impact.
In the letter, the coalition explained, “The Regulatory Accountability Act builds on established principles of fair regulatory process and review that have been embodied in bipartisan executive orders dating to at least the Clinton administration. The Act would make the regulatory process more transparent, agencies more accountable for their decisions, and regulations better-tailored to achieve their purpose without unnecessary burdens on stakeholders.”

Read more about ABC’s positions on Regulatory Reform