The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this week approved the Farm Bureau-supported Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (S. 951).
The bill would make fundamental reforms to the Administrative Procedure Act. Specifically, the measure would require a cost-benefit analysis of proposed regulations, invite early public participation on major rules and require federal agencies to disclose the information they rely upon.
“When the government proposes rules, we should all have ample opportunity to evaluate and comment on the proposals. All too often, this doesn’t happen. Agencies must engage in greater outreach and do so sooner in the process. Increased transparency and disclosure can only help to instill greater confidence in the system. That confidence is too often lacking today,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement released soon after the Regulatory Accountability Act was introduced.
In addition, the bill, sponsored by Sens. Robert Portman (R-Ohio) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), would codify key bipartisan regulatory executive orders; require federal agencies to build in an automatic review for the most significant rules at least once every 10 years; and require federal agencies to follow a more evidence-based approach in crafting rules that will cost more than $1 billion annually.
The House earlier this year passed its own regulatory reform bill. While passage of the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is a positive step, lawmakers still need to hear from the farmers and ranchers they represent to further build momentum in the Senate for action on regulatory reform. Click here to send a message to your senators.