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Regulatory Reform

The Chamber recognizes the need for smart regulations to ensure workplace safety and protect public health. But with a $2 trillion price tag in compliance costs, an increasing number of huge and complex rules, and a permitting process that makes it virtually impossible to build anything, it’s clear the regulatory system isn’t working the way it should. Americans deserve a working regulatory system that is fair for everyone, takes into account the views of communities and businesses, evaluates the impact rules will have on jobs and small businesses, and protects our economic and personal freedoms.

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Our Position

More than 1/3

The Government Accountability Office found that about 35% of major regulations are issued without a public comment period.

The Chamber is building support for commonsense regulatory reform based on four bipartisan principles.

  1. Accountability. Congress should insist on an up-or-down vote on the largest and most costly regulations and more carefully craft legislation so that the purpose of the new rules are perfectly clear and regulators’ discretion in writing rules is limited.
  2. Transparency. Nothing would ensure greater transparency than eliminating sue and settle agreements, where key decisions about how and when to issue new regulations are made in secret under pressure from special interest groups, entirely outside of the normal rulemaking process.
  3. Participation. Agencies should be required to inform the public of pending regulatory decisions on high-impact rules early in the process, share their data and economic models, and allow those who will be affected adequate time for comments.
  4. Safe But Swift. Today, major energy, infrastructure, and necessary community improvement projects cannot be built or even granted a permit because of a broken environmental review process. With commonsense reforms, we don’t need to choose between speed and safety. We can have both and we need both.

With these four simple principles in mind, the Chamber is advancing three bipartisan bills to reform and modernize the regulatory system:

Costly Rules

Total compliance costs for federal regulations are $2 trillion annually.
  • Permit streamlining legislation, which would create a more coordinated and efficient permitting process for federal regulatory reviews, environmental decision making, and permitting—without changing existing standards or environmental safeguards.
  • The Regulatory Accountability Act, which would reform the regulatory process by increasing transparency during rule development, allowing interested parties access to the data, and making agencies consider alternatives that achieve their objective at a lower cost.
  • The Sunshine Act, which would bring transparency and accountability to the sue and settle process, by allowing federal agencies to bring secret lawsuits filed by special interest groups out from behind closed doors.


Reforming our government’s regulatory system and permitting process are issues that should unite Americans and their competing interests, not divide them.

Read more from the U.S. Chamber blog: 4 Steps to a Working Regulatory System

Our ideas on #RegReform are hardly unique--read what other publishers are saying about this issue:

Take Action

Regulatory reform is a key component of the U.S. Chamber's Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda - an ambitious plan to generate stronger, more robust economic growth, create jobs and expand opportunity for all Americans. 

The items in this toolkit may be customized for your use. We hope you will share, repurpose, and publish the resources below to support your own advocacy agenda.


The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 11/27/2015
E.g., 11/27/2015

This letter was sent to the members of the House Judiciary Committee in support of H.R. 4002, the “Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015,” and H.R. 4003, the “Regulatory Reporting Act of 2015,” as the Committee prepares to markup several criminal justice reform bills tomorrow morning.

1 week 2 days ago
Above the Fold

Federal regulators are increasingly shirking their legal responsibilities to collect and consider feedback from the business community.

2 weeks 2 days ago

The signing organizations representing a broad section of the construction, real estate, mining, agriculture, transportation, forestry, manufacturing, and energy sectors write to express extreme disappointment with the November 3 vote against S. 1140, the bipartisan Barrasso-Donnelly “Federal Water Quality Protection Act,” by Senators King, Nelson, Kaine, Warner, Feinstein, Schatz, Coons, Carper, Tester, Bennet, and Klobuchar.

2 weeks 3 days ago

TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Attention: Docket ID No. EPA–HQ-OAR-2014-0616
Mr. Greg Nizich, Air Quality Policy Division
Office of Air Quality and Planning Standards
109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Mail Code C504-03
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

RE: Amendments to Regional Consistency Regulations, Proposed Rule, Docket ID No. EPAHQ-
OAR-2014-0616, 80 Fed. Reg. 50250 (Aug. 19, 2015)

3 weeks 2 days ago

We are writing letters to the next president to share our vision for the business community.

See our advice—and share yours—for the 45th president.