Why the Regulatory Accountability Act Would Be a Win for Small Business | U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Jun 07, 2017 - 11:15am

Why the Regulatory Accountability Act Would Be a Win for Small Business


Intern, Media and External Communications

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Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, listens to testimony during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) at a Senate Finance Committee hearing.

How can we get smarter, more-effective regulations? For a top GOP senator, the answer to smarter, more effective federal regulations lies in modernizing how rules get made.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) published an op-ed in The Daily Signal arguing for passing the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA). This bipartisan legislation has already passed in the House of Representatives and is working its way to a vote in the Senate.

Hatch breaks down how government regulation harms Americans financially:

Governing by regulation is costly. By some estimates, federal regulations now impose a burden of well over $1 trillion annually on our economy—an amount that would equal more than $15,000 per household per year.

Hatch adds: 

This bipartisan legislation, if enacted, would constitute the most significant reform to the federal bureaucracy in over seven decades. It would modernize the regulatory process to make it smarter, more cost-effective, and more democratically accountable.

The RAA is rooted in increased transparency in the federal government’s relationship with the public and “ensures that federal agencies execute the intent of Congress and not the intent of an agency.”

For the most costly regulations, the RAA would require agencies to involve the public to participate at the start of the regulatory process. The public also must have the opportunity to challenge agency information and question the research backing the proposed regulations. In addition, agencies must provide a cost-benefit analysis for the most expensive proposals so that the public is fully aware of the impact of these regulations.

In short, the RAA requires agencies to consider the impact of regulations on jobs, businesses, and communities across the nation.

The RAA would be a win for small business because it would hold regulators accountable. With its overwhelming support from the business community, the RAA meets the demands of business owners and consumers to ensure future growth.

Already, over 600 business organizations from all 50 states have backed the RAA. These groups represent a diverse mix of industries such as agriculture, aerospace, and manufacturing. Their support for the RAA exhibits the public’s desire for regulatory reform.

At its core, the legislation pushes for accountability through checks and balances so the government best represents the needs of the American people.

“We continue to push for regulatory reform because this isn’t about politics,” Hatch writes.

The Constitution requires a proper separation of powers between the three branches of the federal government. It requires lawmaking that is accountable to the people. The bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act is critical to restoring those constitutional values and, in the process, encouraging smarter and more effective federal regulations.

He couldn’t be more right.

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About the Author

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Intern, Media and External Communications

Heather McPherson is the Media and External Communications intern at the Chamber.