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Senate Introduces Regulatory Accountability Act

Apr 2017

The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support from Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).  The Act would mark the first major changes to the federal regulatory process in nearly 70 years.  RAA has already passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 238-183.

The RAA is based on three principles for regulatory reform:

  • Accountability – Federal agencies need to show that the costliest rules are truly needed and are written to use the least costly option available to achieve their objective.
  • Transparency – Agencies must be open about why and how they make key decisions to regulate, and avoid making those decisions in secret under pressure from special interest groups, entirely outside of the normal rulemaking process.
  • 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 public input.

“This legislation would bring our outdated federal regulatory process into the 21st Century by requiring agencies to use the best scientific and economic data available, strengthening checks and balances, and giving the public a voice in the process,” Sen. Portman noted.

Under RAA, the federal government would still have the ability to write necessary regulations.  However, the Act would increase scrutiny on the costliest regulations - those with an impact of $100 million or more - in order to achieve their intended goals at the lowest cost to the economy.