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NFDA Urges Government to Reform Regulatory Process

Posted: November 2, 2011

NFDA recently joined 58 other associations in sending a letter to members of the House and Senate urging them to introduce the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011.

Recognizing the precarious condition of America's economy and continued weakness in job creation, the coalition members believe that regulations developed by federal government agencies need to be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, impose the least burden possible, while still implementing Congressional intent. In addition, when agencies produce regulations that do not reflect these requirements, the members of the coalition believe there should be better mechanisms in place to hold them accountable. The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 3010 and S. 1606) will restore these objectives to the regulatory process by:

  • Increasing public participation in shaping the most costly regulations before they are proposed.
  • Requiring that agencies choose the least costly option unless they can demonstrate a need to protect public health, safety or welfare.
  • Giving interested parties the opportunity to hold agencies accountable for their compliance with the Information Quality Act.
  • Providing for on-the-record administrative hearings for the most costly regulations to ensure agency data is well tested and reviewed.
  • Restricting agencies' use of interim final regulations where no comments are taken before a regulation takes effect and providing for expedited judicial review of whether that approach is justified.
  • Providing for a more rigorous test in legal challenges for those regulations that would have the most impact.

The letter states, "The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 builds on established principles of fair regulatory process and review that have been embodied in bipartisan executive orders dating to at least the Clinton administration and will make the regulatory process more transparent, agencies more accountable, and regulations more cost effective. The Act will not affect any regulations that are already in effect."