From Maine to California, Industry Groups and Chambers of Commerce Ask Senate Leadership to Take Up the Regulatory Accountability Act
WASHINGTON, D.C.— In a letter sent last night to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a broad cross-section of America’s business community urged the lawmakers to take up and pass the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (RAA).
Led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the letter was signed by 616 business groups—including trade associations and state and local chambers of commerce—from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A similar letter sent to leadership in the House of Representatives last year garnered 380 signatories, and helped catapult the issue to the top of the 2017 legislative docket. The House passed the RAA with a bipartisan vote of 238-183 on January 11. The Senate now has the opportunity to modernize the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), whose rulemaking provisions have remained virtually unchanged since it was enacted in 1946.
U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said recently at his State of American Business address that no one has been hurt more by regulatory overreach than America’s small businesses. Donohue said, “Small companies account for much of the innovation and more than 60 percent of the new job creation in our country. An unelected fourth branch of government—the regulatory branch—is holding our small business sector back while imposing unnecessary costs on larger companies too…As important as it is, regulatory relief alone is not enough. We need to reform the regulatory process itself…The Chamber has been leading the fight for the Regulatory Accountability Act. This law would fundamentally transform how agencies implement major rules.”
The groups write in the letter to Senate leadership, “We believe that federal regulations should be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while implementing congressional intent. Now is the time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional legislative authority by ensuring agencies implement congressional intent, not the intent of the agency.” The full letter can be found here.
The Chamber has been a champion of regulatory reform for years. The business organization has released a series of reports aimed at holding government accountable for an increasingly complex web of regulations. To read the studies, please visit https://www.uschamber.com/regulatory-reform.