U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry supported two bills this week to reform the regulatory process: the "Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011" (HR 527) and the "Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011" (HR 3010).
"The House has passed over 10 bills this year aimed largely at reining-in agency rules already in the works," said Thornberry. "HR 527 and HR 3010 get at the heart of the matter by overhauling the rulemaking process to force agencies of the Executive Branch to consider the cost of regulations on our businesses and our country."
HR 527 requires agencies to look at possible costs on small businesses before adopting a rule while giving businesses a chance to be involved in the drafting process. It also requires agencies to include "indirect" costs as well as direct costs and expands the ability of small businesses impacted by an agency's regulations to challenge those rules in court.
HR 3010 requires agencies to give advance notice of proposed rules to increase public participation. As well as considering cost, it also forces agencies to look at alternatives and choose the lowest cost alternative that meets the requirements in law. It does permit costlier rules to protect public health and safety, but only if the agency can clearly justify why an alternative was not chosen.
"Both of these bills will help bring commonsense to agency rulemaking. With unemployment still hovering close to 9 percent, the federal government cannot stand in the way and hinder the development of new jobs through costly regulations," Thornberry stated.