Today, the U.S. House of Representatives considered and passed H.R. 2804, the "All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act of 2014." Following passage of the legislation, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:
"I am increasingly disheartened as my Republican colleagues brought yet another ideologically driven, anti-regulatory bill to the House Floor this afternoon. This legislation, H.R. 2804 the so-called "All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act of 2014,' would significantly delay - and possibly grind to a halt - a federal agency's rulemaking process. In practice, this means that public servants who craft rules to protect Americans from dirty air and water, unsafe products, and contaminated food, will be hamstrung in their efforts. Despite my conservative colleagues' mistaken intentions, this legislation does nothing to improve the economy or create jobs for the millions of Americans looking for work.
"What this legislation would do, however, is seriously jeopardize critical public health and safety regulatory protections. If the so-called "ALERT Act' were to become law, a "supermandate' provision would trump all other legislative safeguards passed into law by Congress - every public protection from the Clean Air Act to the Occupational Safety & Health Act would be disregarded. An equally troubling aspect of the "ALERT Act' is that it will greatly lengthen the already time-consuming process by which public safeguards are issued, nearly 4 to 8 years in many cases. American workers' safety and consumers' health shouldn't be held hostage to ideological demands and legislative conditions.
"In recent weeks, we have witnessed firsthand the failure of anti-regulatory policies - the toxic chemicals that contaminated West Virginia's drinking water and the coal ash that spilled into a North Carolina river - are only the most recent examples of such misguided policies in action. In a time of widespread unemployment, too many industrial accidents, and our climate nearing the tipping point of irreparable disaster, the American people deserve better."