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house Bill H.R. 185

Should Government Agencies Streamline Their Rule-Making Process And Justify Spending?

Argument in favor

The government spends a lot of money on regulatory agencies. This bill would ensure that these agencies are running efficiently, while offering civilians the chance to get involved and provide input to the rule-making process.

Curmudgeon's Opinion
We are bogged down in procedure. Our FOIA ability to know the justification of anything government attempts is both too limited, and too cumbersome. A publicly held company publishes an annual report over the signatures of its auditors. What allows #%}¥! government off that hook?
Like (2)
Rita 's Opinion
Yes. Justify it. It isn't even your money, do taxpayers need to know.
Like (1)

Argument opposed

This is a thinly-veiled attempt at large scale deregulation. It will hamstring everything from scientific research to consumer protection — and burden federal agencies with bureaucratic homework.

Czerny's Opinion
This s a pretty blatant attempt to hamstring programs which a few politician oppose.
Warren's Opinion
how many fascist bills are up for a vote anyway?

What is House Bill H.R. 185?

H.R. 185 seeks to improve the  monetary efficiency of government agencies. Every single one: from the FDA to the EPA, and everything in between. It would do so by requiring agencies that have an economic impact — cost to taxpayers or businesses — of $100 million or more to open up their own analysis of how they use their budget to outside analysts. 

The bill would also change the way rule-makers consider alternative rules, plus the impact of potential rules they are considering implementing. The judicial review process under this legislation would prevent judges from deferring to regulators’ assessments made throughout the public comment and hearing processes.  It would also require that agencies with an impact of $1 billion or more hold public hearings on their budgets.


Taxpayers, people who want to join public hearings on the rule-making process, federal agencies, their staff and the rules that apply to them, federal judges, the Office of Management and Budget Administration, Congress, and the U.S. Economy.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 185

$70.00 Million
A CBO estimate for this version of the bill is unavailable. However, a 2013 estimate of a previous version of this bill found that its implementation would cost $70 million between 2014-2018.

More Information

Of Note:

Current procedures for rule-making would be changed to require federal agencies to make all preliminary and final factual determinations based on evidence. They would also be mandated to consider:

  • The legal authority under which a rule may be proposed.

  • The specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule.

  • Whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency may address with a rule, and whether these rules can be amended or rescinded.

  • Any reasonable alternatives for a new rule.

  • The potential costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules.

Rule-making notice requirements for agencies would be altered to require that proposed major or high-impact rules be published in the Federal Register. Public comment periods would then be established, and opportunities for interested parties to hold hearings before any such rule could be held. The ability for interested persons to petition for amendment or repeal of a specific rule would also be established.

Electronic access to transcripts of testimony, exhibits, and other documents filed in a rule-making proceeding would be made available. The scope of judicial review would be revised to prohibit a court from deferring to an agency’s:

  • Interpretation of a rule if the agency didn’t comply with APA requirements.

  • Determination of the costs and benefits or other economic or risk assessment if the agency failed to conform to the guidelines on such determinations and assessments established by the Administrator.

  • Determinations made in the adoption of an interim rule.

  • Guidance.


Sponsoring Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Press Release

The Hill

The Heritage Foundation (In Favor)

Business Roundtable (In Favor)

Union of Concerned Scientists (Opposed)

CBO Estimate (Previous Version)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Kevin Dooley)


Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015

Official Title

To reform the process by which Federal agencies analyze and formulate new regulations and guidance documents.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed January 13th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 250 Yea / 175 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
    IntroducedJanuary 7th, 2015

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