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Chris V.
Democrat MD 8

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  • In Opposition to H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act

    by Representative Chris Van Hollen

    Posted on 2015-01-26

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    VAN HOLLEN of maryland in the house of representatives Monday, January 26, 2015 Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 185, the so-called ``Regulatory Accountability Act.'' Today's bill is yet another attempt by House Republicans to limit the ability of federal agencies to enforce commonsense rules and regulations. While supporters of this rehashed bill claim it is needed to curb overregulation, in reality, it would simply prevent federal agencies from doing their jobs and working to ensure there are safeguards in place to protect consumer health and safety. In fact, H.R. 185 [[Page E115]] would create more red tape by imposing over 60 new barriers in the federal rulemaking process.

    One of the most burdensome provisions in this legislation requires agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for all proposed rules and possible alternatives, even if the rule is limited in scope and has a minimal economic impact. Moreover, agencies would be obligated to adopt the option that was the least costly in the short term, without taking into account the long term impact and costs it would have on public health and safety. This is a myopic way to govern and would create paralysis within the rulemaking process.

    President Obama has already implemented significant reforms to the rulemaking process. In January 2010, the President signed an Executive Order that required agencies to determine if the benefits of proposed rules are justified considering their cost to society. He required an interagency review of overlapping rules and regulation between agencies that may prevent innovation in the private sector and instituted a policy to allow agencies to consider input from affected public and private stakeholders and experts when developing rules and regulations. Moreover, federal agencies under President Obama issued significantly less rules during his first four years in office when compared to President Bush's first term.

    At a time when Congress should be doing everything it can to create jobs and improve the economy, this bill is nothing but a distraction. I urge my colleagues to oppose it.


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