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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

Take Action

  • Call for comments. Tell EPA to retain the current 2008 ozone standard (75 ppb). States are committing time and money to meet the 2008 ozone standard, yet EPA now wants to impose more stringent restrictions before the current standards are fully implemented. This further strains what are already limited resources that states have for implementation. Learn more at www.uschamber.com/ozone.

                  - File your own comments. (Click on the blue "Comment Now!" button on the right side of the regulations.gov page.)

                  - For reference, view a sample letter for businesses and associations to express concerns about the proposed rule.

  • Let’s get our rules right. Send a letter to Congress to support the Regulatory Accountability Act. If passed, this bill will improve our nation’s rulemaking process, creating more transparency and public participation, and holding agencies accountable for the nature and quality of their data.
  •  Share our slideshare presentation on the 5 Steps to Get Our Rules Right.  Click here to retweet the presentation.



Backdoor and Backroom Regulation, Heather Peirce, The Hill

EPA's Wood-Burning Stove Ban Has Chilling Consequences For Many Rural People, Larry Bell, Forbes

Over-regulated America, The Economist

Pay Up: Federal Regulations Cost U.S. Economy More Than $2 Trillion Annually, National Association of Manufacturers

The Best and Worst of Regulation in 2014, Sam Batkins, American Action Forum

The Cure For Regulation Destabilization, Clyde Wayne Crews, Forbes

The REINS Act: Increasing The Accountability Of Our Elected Officials, Capital Flows, Forbes

The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2014, Congressional testimony by Patrick McLaughlin, George Mason University

The Unintended Consequences of Federal Regulatory Accumulation, Mercatus Center, George Washington University



The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 03/02/2015
E.g., 03/02/2015

Statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

ON: Hearing on H.R. 348, the “Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2015” (RAPID Act); H.R. 712, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015”; and the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2015” (SCRUB Act)

TO: U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law

DATE: March 2, 2015

5 hours 55 min ago

Hearing on H.R. 348, the “Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2015” (RAPID Act); H.R. 712, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015”; and the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2015” (SCRUB Act).

11 hours 25 min ago


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending America’s free enterprise system, supports H.R. 1029, the “EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015,” and H.R. 1030, the “Secret Science Reform Act of 2015.”

4 days 4 hours ago

This letter thanking Reps. Chabot and Cicilline for introducing H.R. 1023, the “Small Business Investment Company Capital Act of 2015,” was sent to their offices as well as the House Committee on Small Business.

5 days 6 hours ago

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) updated its guidance and examination procedures used to assess banks’ consumer credit products, changes that will immediately affect consumers -- and not for the better.

5 days 11 hours ago
Illustration of the United States being strangled by red tape.

In the more than 125 years since Congress created the first regulatory body — the Interstate Commerce Commission -- the number of agencies and the scope and reach of the regulations they issue has increased significantly.

1 week 6 days ago