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Mr. GUINTA. I thank the chairman for yielding the time.
Mr. Chairman, I add my voice to calling for the passage of H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act.
One of the key provisions of this bill is title III, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act. Certain environmental advocacy groups sue Federal agencies to issue regulations, and then agencies settle these lawsuits behind closed doors, which is also known as ``sue and settle.'' Only after a settlement has been agreed to does the public have any chance to provide any comment. This is a pointless exercise because the damage has already been done. More troubling, these settlements often allow advocacy groups and agencies to effectively dictate major policy on their own by circumventing the protections that exist for public participation in a regulatory system.
This provision, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2012, promotes openness and transparency in the regulatory process, and it does that by requiring agencies to notify the public of these lawsuits before they're settled and giving the public meaningful voice in the process.
As Chairman Issa knows from the field hearing he held on Great Bay in my district in the State of New Hampshire, my constituents and small businesses are facing this very issue. Communities, small businesses, and New Hampshire families are facing massive tax increases because outside organizations with political agendas are forcing the EPA into a sue or settle situation, costing Granite Staters on the seacoast hundreds of millions of dollars. This has been done behind closed doors without the community being at the table as a full negotiating partner, and this is wrong.
We all want the Great Bay to be clean and to be protected, but sue and settle is not the way. In the end, the actions of a few politically driven organizations are costing small businesses and hurting New Hampshire families in an already difficult economy.
Chairman Issa, I want to thank you for coming to New Hampshire to shed light on this problem. For these reasons, I urge all Members to support this bill.
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