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house Bill H.R. 1004

Do Federal Agencies Need to Make Information About Pending Regulations Public?

Argument in favor

Federal agencies need to be completely transparent when developing regulations, and publishing all the relevant information about pending regulations on agencies’ websites makes it more accessible for concerned citizens.

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02/27/2017
How could any free citizen not want to know more about the regulations being considered by unaccountable bureaucrats? Why on earth would any thinking person reject greater transparency?
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02/27/2017
Federal agencies already act with unconstitutional, unchecked power. At the very least we need to be able to know what they are considering. I am shocked by anyone on the left that thinks it is better for the EPA to pass regulations unseen by the people. If you don't want the people to know about it, it probably should NOT pass.
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03/02/2017
Transparency of governance is essential in our democracy.
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Argument opposed

Much of the information that goes into developing federal regulations is either published somewhere or can be obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. If citizens are that concerned they can find it as is.

ShePersisted's Opinion
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02/27/2017
Dear Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), I oppose H.R. 5226 as it appears to further encumber government with additional unnecessary and excessive bureaucracy. To be honest, it looks like an ill-conceived partisan effort to undermine the EPA under the guise of transparency. The problem with your bill is that (1) I think you are a hypocrite and (2) you obviously have no idea that what H.R. 5226 supposedly aims to achieve already exists. Why are you a hypocrite? According to the New York Times article cited on your website, “Late last year, the E.P.A. sponsored a drive on Facebook and Twitter to promote its proposed clean water rule in conjunction with the Sierra Club. At the same time, Organizing for Action, a grass-roots group with deep ties to Mr. Obama, was also pushing the rule. They urged the public to flood the agency with positive comments to counter opposition from farming and industry groups.” You justify having introduced the used piece of toilet paper known as H.R. 5226 because “The EPA has been overreaching its authority for some time, and the agency’s covert campaign to sway the outcome of the harmful Waters of the US rule is a prime example. Now we know, based on an independent report, that the EPA did indeed engage in illegal lobbying methods. The Regulatory Integrity Act will ensure the EPA and other federal agencies operate the rulemaking process in an open and transparent manner to prevent such misconduct in the future.” Ah. I see. If you don’t want the federal government using social media, I suggest you talk to your President instead of introducing worthless legislation such as the “Regulatory Integrity Act”, a.k.a., H.R 5226. . If you had any decency or common sense, you would have withdrawn H.R.5226 as soon as the former attorney general for the State of Oklahoma Scott Pruitt, our new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was appointed. Why? Because while you were wringing your hands over the EPA using social media to raise awareness, Mr. Pruitt was copying and pasting letters WRITTEN BY LOBBYISTS WHO WERE GIVING HIM MONEY onto official letterhead of the Office of Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma, signing, dating and sending them to federal agencies as if he had personally written them. Yeah, in case you haven’t heard, more than 7,500 pages of newly released emails from the Oklahoma attorney general's office have exposed Pruitt's relationship with Devon Energy, including evidence of him allowing the energy giant's top lobbyists to draft and edit letters sent to top federal officials on behalf of Oklahoma and other state attorneys general. The emails confirm years of cushy ties between Pruitt and Devon Energy dating back to at least October 2011, when Pruitt also signed a letter drafted by Devon Energy officials and sent it to the head of the EPA. That exchange was first reported by The New York Times in December 2014 (any chance you read THAT article?). It seems this type of quid pro quo occurred multiple times. For example, the emails revealed that Pruitt was working with other groups in an effort to weaken federal environmental regulations including, but not limited to, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers association, major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers. According to Arnold Hamilton, editor of the Oklahoma Observer, Pruitt is "supposed to be the people's lawyer. He's supposed to be a voice for the people, an independent voice. And instead, he comes across very much looking like a toadie for big money financial groups." Yet you obviously feel there is still more work to be done in dismantling the EPA. I wonder, Representative Walberg, who lines your pockets? I mean, why else would you continue to pursue the evisceration of the EPA, even after the appointment of Pruitt? Hmm… maybe you just don’t want ANY part of the federal government using public media to raise awareness and support? Honestly, I don’t know. Hey, how about you introduce legislation that says it’s ok for Attorney’s General to submit letters on government letterhead that were written by lobbyists? Ya know, in the interest of transparency and all. Regarding your ignorance of the Federal Register (seriously, you introduced legislation to require “the publication of information relating to pending regulatory actions"), I’d like to share some cool info with you: The Federal Register is published daily and includes notices, proposed rules, new rules and other significant documents. All Federal Register documents since *1994* are posted to https://www.federalregister.gov/ YOU CAN EVEN SUBSCRIBE TO IT AND GET A DAILY EMAIL FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION. FYI, today's issue of the Federal Register be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/current and includes rules from almost every department of government. It also breaks down topics into six easy to search categories: money, environment, world, science & technology, business & industry, health & public welfare. Each category is broken down into additional subparts, including identifying how many new documents were added in the last year. Good luck in the next election.
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Mirek's Opinion
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02/27/2017
This is simply an attempt to muzzle the EPA. Any proposed rules are always available in the federal register and the comment period is always published. The rule is designed to allow climate denying interest groups to put even more pressure and lobbying effort on the EPA.
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Andrea's Opinion
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02/27/2017
Another attack on the EPA. If you're concerned about accountability, look into new EPA head Scott Pruitt's connections to Big Oil and Big Coal. That's where the pustule of corruption lies.
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    How could any free citizen not want to know more about the regulations being considered by unaccountable bureaucrats? Why on earth would any thinking person reject greater transparency?
    Like (82)
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    Dear Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), I oppose H.R. 5226 as it appears to further encumber government with additional unnecessary and excessive bureaucracy. To be honest, it looks like an ill-conceived partisan effort to undermine the EPA under the guise of transparency. The problem with your bill is that (1) I think you are a hypocrite and (2) you obviously have no idea that what H.R. 5226 supposedly aims to achieve already exists. Why are you a hypocrite? According to the New York Times article cited on your website, “Late last year, the E.P.A. sponsored a drive on Facebook and Twitter to promote its proposed clean water rule in conjunction with the Sierra Club. At the same time, Organizing for Action, a grass-roots group with deep ties to Mr. Obama, was also pushing the rule. They urged the public to flood the agency with positive comments to counter opposition from farming and industry groups.” You justify having introduced the used piece of toilet paper known as H.R. 5226 because “The EPA has been overreaching its authority for some time, and the agency’s covert campaign to sway the outcome of the harmful Waters of the US rule is a prime example. Now we know, based on an independent report, that the EPA did indeed engage in illegal lobbying methods. The Regulatory Integrity Act will ensure the EPA and other federal agencies operate the rulemaking process in an open and transparent manner to prevent such misconduct in the future.” Ah. I see. If you don’t want the federal government using social media, I suggest you talk to your President instead of introducing worthless legislation such as the “Regulatory Integrity Act”, a.k.a., H.R 5226. . If you had any decency or common sense, you would have withdrawn H.R.5226 as soon as the former attorney general for the State of Oklahoma Scott Pruitt, our new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was appointed. Why? Because while you were wringing your hands over the EPA using social media to raise awareness, Mr. Pruitt was copying and pasting letters WRITTEN BY LOBBYISTS WHO WERE GIVING HIM MONEY onto official letterhead of the Office of Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma, signing, dating and sending them to federal agencies as if he had personally written them. Yeah, in case you haven’t heard, more than 7,500 pages of newly released emails from the Oklahoma attorney general's office have exposed Pruitt's relationship with Devon Energy, including evidence of him allowing the energy giant's top lobbyists to draft and edit letters sent to top federal officials on behalf of Oklahoma and other state attorneys general. The emails confirm years of cushy ties between Pruitt and Devon Energy dating back to at least October 2011, when Pruitt also signed a letter drafted by Devon Energy officials and sent it to the head of the EPA. That exchange was first reported by The New York Times in December 2014 (any chance you read THAT article?). It seems this type of quid pro quo occurred multiple times. For example, the emails revealed that Pruitt was working with other groups in an effort to weaken federal environmental regulations including, but not limited to, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers association, major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers. According to Arnold Hamilton, editor of the Oklahoma Observer, Pruitt is "supposed to be the people's lawyer. He's supposed to be a voice for the people, an independent voice. And instead, he comes across very much looking like a toadie for big money financial groups." Yet you obviously feel there is still more work to be done in dismantling the EPA. I wonder, Representative Walberg, who lines your pockets? I mean, why else would you continue to pursue the evisceration of the EPA, even after the appointment of Pruitt? Hmm… maybe you just don’t want ANY part of the federal government using public media to raise awareness and support? Honestly, I don’t know. Hey, how about you introduce legislation that says it’s ok for Attorney’s General to submit letters on government letterhead that were written by lobbyists? Ya know, in the interest of transparency and all. Regarding your ignorance of the Federal Register (seriously, you introduced legislation to require “the publication of information relating to pending regulatory actions"), I’d like to share some cool info with you: The Federal Register is published daily and includes notices, proposed rules, new rules and other significant documents. All Federal Register documents since *1994* are posted to https://www.federalregister.gov/ YOU CAN EVEN SUBSCRIBE TO IT AND GET A DAILY EMAIL FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION. FYI, today's issue of the Federal Register be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/current and includes rules from almost every department of government. It also breaks down topics into six easy to search categories: money, environment, world, science & technology, business & industry, health & public welfare. Each category is broken down into additional subparts, including identifying how many new documents were added in the last year. Good luck in the next election.
    Like (518)
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    This is simply an attempt to muzzle the EPA. Any proposed rules are always available in the federal register and the comment period is always published. The rule is designed to allow climate denying interest groups to put even more pressure and lobbying effort on the EPA.
    Like (180)
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    Love this app but that's one heck of a misleading title. Federal agencies are already required to publish proposed regulations, for public comment, on the Federal Register. Such notices include an explanation of the proposal, the legal authority for it, etc. It's part of the Administrative Procedure Act. I don't know of a single agency that doesn't also include all of this on their website. Agencies also give public notice of upcoming proposed regulations in what's called the Unified Agenda. Proposed regulations can be all found at the aptly named website: regulations.gov. I don't know how much easier it can reasonably get.
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    Another attack on the EPA. If you're concerned about accountability, look into new EPA head Scott Pruitt's connections to Big Oil and Big Coal. That's where the pustule of corruption lies.
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    This information is already accessible. I am very leery of a GOP bill that calls for repeating already existing practices. This reeks of an anti-EPA move. I ask my representatives to be very careful when considering this vote
    Like (67)
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    Federal agencies already act with unconstitutional, unchecked power. At the very least we need to be able to know what they are considering. I am shocked by anyone on the left that thinks it is better for the EPA to pass regulations unseen by the people. If you don't want the people to know about it, it probably should NOT pass.
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    Transparency of governance is essential in our democracy.
    Like (42)
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    Yes, of course. How else can citizens affected by the actions know about them.
    Like (39)
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    The Federal Register already exists for this reason. This seems like nothing more than a GOP power play to undermine the EPA through sneaky legislation. Pay attention to what is in-between the lines and underneath the text.
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    Being informed is a public right. We pay for the agencies therefore we should know what they are up to.
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    This information is already available through the FOIA. Meanwhile, we are still waiting to see Trump's tax returns.
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    No brainer, government should be fully transparent
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    Since this info already exists, this bill looks to be a ruse to get unsuspecting citizens and representatives who may not do their homework think it is a transparency piece of legislation. There is something else going on here that stinks to high heaven.
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    There should be one central site where any pending rule or regulation is clearly identified, published in clear, understandable to the everyday population (i.e. Not lawyers, politicians or bureaucrats), the reason for it, the cost to the economy, the cost to Government (Federal, State or Local), and a way to comment on it to the Agency proposing it but also to the writers Elected Senators and Representative. With today's Internet and computing this should be,at least in the real world, a normal cost efficient and relatively easy system to set up. Of course we are talking about the Federal Government where parts of it are reported to still using DOS AND WINDOWS 95.
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    "The Bill is worded as such to garner support initial support because who doesn't want governmental transparency. However, as several others have stated, this information is already readily available on the Federal Register. All federal agencies must follow the "notice and comment" period before promulgating new rules and regulations. If this transparency already exists, then what is the purpose behind this new legislation?"
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    Transparency is tantamount to the democratic process and, as such, it should be important to America & Americans. Our representatives cannot expect to govern responsibly, let alone in our name, if we don't know what they're doing. .
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    An educated citizenry can make their elected officials accountable. More information...easily obtained.
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    “The EPA has been overreaching its authority for some time, and the agency’s covert campaign to sway the outcome of the harmful Waters of the US rule is a prime example. Now we know, based on an independent report, that the EPA did indeed engage in illegal lobbying methods. The Regulatory Integrity Act will ensure the EPA and other federal agencies operate the rulemaking process in an open and transparent manner to prevent such misconduct in the future.” I agree. More transparency is needed in our government. Lobbyists influence the government and then we get more regulations. Citizens and businesses are negatively affected. Hopefully the free press will spend more time making sure our government works for us, not against us.
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    It should be simple for Americans to access this information in one location. More transparency.
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