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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.
SOURCE: GAO

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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Timeline

The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 08/28/2015
E.g., 08/28/2015
Event

Industry experts and local leaders will discuss how proposed changes to national ozone standards could put local jobs at risk and limit opportunities for economic development in Pennsylvania.

0 sec ago
Press Release

Today in Columbus, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Black Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomed central Ohio community and business leaders to a public forum exploring the economic impact of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed ground-level ozone rule on Ohio's communities and economy. The EPA's proposal would reduce Ohio's Gross State Product by over $23 billion from 2017 to 2040, result in almost 23,000 jobs lost annually, cost each household $450 per year, and come with $840 million in compliance costs.

3 days 21 hours ago
Letter

This letter applauding the introduction of the "Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015" was sent to Sens. Portman, King, and Collins, as well as the bill's additional cosponsors.

3 weeks 17 hours ago
Report

What is Sue and Settle?

"Sue and Settle" refers to when a federal agency agrees to a settlement agreement, in a lawsuit from special interest groups, to create priorities and rules outside of the normal rulemaking process.  The agency intentionally relinquishes statutory discretion by committing to timelines and priorities that often realign agency duties.  These settlement agreements are negotiated behind closed doors with no participation from the public or affected parties.

3 weeks 1 day ago
Above the Fold
Supreme Court
Author: 

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

1 month 1 week ago

Above the Fold

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