April 25, 2023


The current Administration’s unbridled regulatory agenda is posing a significant threat to America’s economic growth and competitiveness. 

The U.S. Chamber is using every tool at our disposal to challenge government overreach and defend the rule of law.  When the regulators won’t listen to reason, we hold them accountable in court. We are currently challenging numerous burdensome regulations and preparing to launch more lawsuits against a variety of federal agencies. 

Our goal: create a regulatory environment in which businesses can innovate, compete, and thrive.  

Here are a few of our latest challenges. To learn more about our litigation, click here

Chamber of Commerce v. SEC  

Public companies are a key source of growth and innovation for our economy and an important source of wealth creation for main street investors. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent actions to roll back the 2020 Proxy Advisor Rule will deteriorate the public company model, ultimately depriving main street investors and everyday Americans of dynamic growth opportunities to help build wealth and save for retirement. 

Understanding the Case 

After a decade of bipartisan study and engagement with stakeholders, the SEC finalized the 2020 Proxy Advisor Rule which created key investor protections regarding proxy voting advice, eliminated conflicts of interest and required new transparency and accountability measures for proxy advisory firms. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee against the SEC for not following proper procedures under the APA. Specifically: 

  • The SEC failed to provide serious evidence of new or changed circumstances to justify its actions. Rather, the SEC deferred to completely voluntary disclosure rules that proxy advisors recently adopted, which do not match the disclosure requirements of the 2020 Rule and can be abandoned at any time.  
  • The SEC failed to provide enhanced justifications for its policy reversal. Given the Amended Rule’s contradiction of factual findings underlying the 2020 Rule, as well as the Amended Rule’s impact on serious reliance interests, the SEC was required under the APA to provide these justifications.  
  • The Amended Rule’s cost-benefit analysis is opportunistically framed. The analysis focuses on benefits to proxy advisors’ profitability while ignoring the substantial costs to companies and investors, in violation of the APA and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 

Learn more about this case here

Chamber of Commerce v. FTC 

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent actions are alarming and pose a serious threat to the American economy. The FTC is overstepping its regulatory authority, undermining our system of checks and balances, ignoring due process, and bypassing longstanding regulatory norms to expansively regulate industries and manage the American economy with a government-knows-best approach, all the while circumventing normal processes and creating a a “black-box environment” that increases uncertainty for businesses. 

Understanding the Case 

The FTC’s denial of lawful requests for public information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which are essential for understanding the FTC’s operations, exemplifies the FTC’s lack of transparency and dubious policy agenda. 

The U.S. Chamber filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the FTC for its lack of transparency and accountability. Specifically, the U.S. Chamber is suing the FTC to make public its materials related to:  

  • Zombie Votes: FTC’s practice of counting “zombie votes” cast by former commissioners who have already left office as well as specific “zombie votes” cast, regardless of whether they were relied upon in a rulemaking decision. 
  • Illumina and Grail: FTC’s communications with the European Commission and other foreign jurisdictions regarding the merger of Illumina and Grail. The FTC may have collaborated with and relied upon a foreign government authority to strong-arm American corporations into abandoning a planned merger. 
  • Lina Khan’s employment status: FTC’s prior employment status granted to Lina Khan while serving as a “legal fellow” under former Commissioner Rohit Chopra. The position of “legal fellow” is highly unusual and not a typical title used in relationship to staff positions in support of a commissioner.   

Learn more about the case here

Chamber of Commerce v. CFPB 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) current ideological agenda will ultimately hurt consumers, businesses, and our economy. To protect Americans’ choice in financial products and the competitiveness of our financial ecosystem, the CFPB needs to be held accountable for unlawful actions. 

Understanding the Case 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas against the CFPB for exceeding its statutory authority when amending its Supervision and Examination manual.  

Among other claims, the U.S. Chamber and co-plaintiffs specifically are suing the CFPB for: 

  • Violating its authority outlined in the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB is rewriting the law by claiming it can examine entities for alleged discriminatory conduct under its Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) authority, rather than under the specific anti-discriminatory laws that apply in the financial space. This action exceeds the statutory authority granted to the CFPB in the Dodd-Frank Act. 
  • Violating the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) procedural requirements. By failing to go through proper notice-and-comment procedures when amending its manual, the CFPB also violated the APA’s procedural requirements. 

Learn more about this case here.  

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce v. U.S. EPA 

The business community and landowners across the United States have made building smart, modern, resilient infrastructure and improved water quality among their top priorities. Unfortunately, under the new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, businesses of all sizes need to navigate an expensive and time-consuming permitting process. The new rule’s use of vague terms to determine whether millions of acres of water features are now to be considered under federal regulatory jurisdiction is causing costly delays for farmers, home builders and small businesses.  

Understanding the case 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and other associations filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, challenging their new WOTUS rule. 

The new rule greatly expands the agencies’ authority, using vaguely described terms to cover millions of acres of water and land features, including ponds, farms and backyards. As a result, landowners, businesses, and farmers will be forced to hire expensive consultants and experts to figure out whether they need permits to use their land. If they guess wrong, they may face severe penalties. 

Learn more about this case here.