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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:

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The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 07/27/2015
E.g., 07/27/2015
Supreme Court

"Regulatory accumulation is crushing small businesses, hurting job growth and our nation's competitiveness," one small business advocate says.

1 week 10 hours ago


TO: Dr. Holly Stallworth
Science Advisory Board Staff Office
Environmental Protection Agency

RE: FRL-9924-34-OA; Notification of a Teleconference and a Face-to-Face Meeting of the
Science Advisory Board Economy-Wide Modeling Panel, Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 49
(Friday, March 13, 2015).

1 week 6 days ago
Press Release

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Portland Cement Association, State Chamber of Oklahoma and Tulsa Regional Chamber, filed a lawsuit late Friday against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking to overturn a regulation often referred to as the "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule, which would dramatically expand the areas regulated under the Clean Water Act.

2 weeks 14 hours ago

This letter supporting S. 732, a bill to "Reaffirm Secretary of the Interior's Authority to Take Land into Trust for Indian Tribes," was sent to all Members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

2 weeks 5 days ago

TO: U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary (full committtee)

RE: Examining the Federal Regulatory System to Improve Accountability, Transparency and Integrity

DATE: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 10:00 AM

3 weeks 6 days ago