TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 469, the “Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2017,” which would make critical improvements to the federal regulatory system. The Chamber urges you to support H.R. 469 and may consider votes on, or in relation to, this bill, including on the Rule, in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
H.R. 469 would bring more transparency to the “sue and settle” process by requiring agencies to give early notice and take public comment on proposed settlement agreements obligating agencies to initiate a rulemaking or take other action on a specified timetable. These settlement agreements allow outside advocacy groups to take control of an agency’s agenda and regulatory priorities. The bill would allow stakeholders to get notice of draft settlements and provide an opportunity – in limited circumstances – to participate.
Although the Chamber applauds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to end the practice of sue and settle at EPA for now, H.R. 469 would ensure future transparency and accountability regardless of which party occupies the executive branch. The reforms embodied in H.R. 469 would help Congress reassert control over federal regulatory agency actions that have become opaque, unaccountable, and often unfair. Congress must perform its critical role as overseer of the regulatory bureaucracy.
The Chamber urges you to approve H.R. 469 and bring much needed transparency to “sue and settle.”