Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 5

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.

···
01/09/2017
I would love to see more scrutiny applied to these unconstitutional agencies. I would love to see them have to justify their actions, their expansions, and their very existence. Because they will fail. These are unelected, unchecked bureaucrats. This is no benevolent power, and these are not the angels of society that make it to these positions. It's high time they go under a high power microscope and face their long-overdue scrutiny.
Like (52)
Follow
Share
Roy's Opinion
···
01/11/2017
How is this even controversial? Our federal government is over $19 trillion in debt. Congress MUST make federal agencies more accountable.
Like (33)
Follow
Share
wickeym's Opinion
···
01/11/2017
Anything that streamlines/cuts down the federal government and costs I can get behind.
Like (20)
Follow
Share

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.

Jason's Opinion
···
01/08/2017
Government is not business, and has neither an expectation nor requirement to operate in a financially "efficient" manner. The mandate of government is to provide protections and services regardless of cost. Furthermore, all expenditures by the Federal government are accrued as a net gain by the private sector as public funds are spent to pay wages, or to purchase goods and services. Fiscal efficiency in government acts as a brake on economic growth, and should thus be avoided.
Like (259)
Follow
Share
Dean's Opinion
···
01/09/2017
The Union of Concerned Scientists argues persuasively that this bill is designed to allow Congress to hamstring environmental and health protections. http://blog.ucsusa.org/celia-wexler/beware-of-this-zombie-bill-777?
Like (206)
Follow
Share
Gail's Opinion
···
01/10/2017
Although the language of Congress's justification in this proposal is intentionally designed to make any opposition seem unreasonable (I can already hear it: "how could you vote against... SHOULDN'T the public be entitled to understand how their tax $ is spent???) the reality is that this bill is wholly unhelpful. Here's why: 1. This is largely duplicative (most significant regulations are already subject to notice and comment procedures for public input; regulations already present a reg. evaluation that looks at everything from costs to benefits; and technical issues the public isn't skilled enough technically in most cases to understand so agencies explain them in the reg. eval); 2. This is just another attempt to deny the agency expertise that has been developed by executive branch agencies over time regardless of who was in power; 3. There is no question that underperforming regulatory processes or regulatory processes that aren't working out as intended ought to be addressed to correct problems before creating new regulations from wholecloth--but this is what ordinarily happens anyway since fed. employees have no incentive to make their own work harder; and 4. this is just one more attempt to devalue the federal scale regulations, which is against the interests of businesses nationwide since there is nothing worse for a business than the unpredictability of rules varying from state to state. This bill is couched in terminology that suggests everyone should be "on board," but the reality is it is a veiled power grab from Federal agencies and does not add to the process; it only delegitimizes the role of federal oversight, which is often key to consistency of rules nationwide to prevent conflicting compliance regimes from state to state.
Like (158)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 5?

This bill would look 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 — defined as 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.

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.

Impact

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. 5

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Other provisions of this bill include: 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.


Media:

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Kevin Dooley)

AKA

Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017

Official Title

To reform the process by which Federal agencies analyze and formulate new regulations and guidance documents, to clarify the nature of judicial review of agency interpretations, to ensure complete analysis of potential impacts on small entities of rules, and for other purposes.

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
      Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • The house Passed January 11th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 238 Yea / 183 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
      Committee on Small Business
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    I would love to see more scrutiny applied to these unconstitutional agencies. I would love to see them have to justify their actions, their expansions, and their very existence. Because they will fail. These are unelected, unchecked bureaucrats. This is no benevolent power, and these are not the angels of society that make it to these positions. It's high time they go under a high power microscope and face their long-overdue scrutiny.
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    Government is not business, and has neither an expectation nor requirement to operate in a financially "efficient" manner. The mandate of government is to provide protections and services regardless of cost. Furthermore, all expenditures by the Federal government are accrued as a net gain by the private sector as public funds are spent to pay wages, or to purchase goods and services. Fiscal efficiency in government acts as a brake on economic growth, and should thus be avoided.
    Like (259)
    Follow
    Share
    The Union of Concerned Scientists argues persuasively that this bill is designed to allow Congress to hamstring environmental and health protections. http://blog.ucsusa.org/celia-wexler/beware-of-this-zombie-bill-777?
    Like (206)
    Follow
    Share
    Although the language of Congress's justification in this proposal is intentionally designed to make any opposition seem unreasonable (I can already hear it: "how could you vote against... SHOULDN'T the public be entitled to understand how their tax $ is spent???) the reality is that this bill is wholly unhelpful. Here's why: 1. This is largely duplicative (most significant regulations are already subject to notice and comment procedures for public input; regulations already present a reg. evaluation that looks at everything from costs to benefits; and technical issues the public isn't skilled enough technically in most cases to understand so agencies explain them in the reg. eval); 2. This is just another attempt to deny the agency expertise that has been developed by executive branch agencies over time regardless of who was in power; 3. There is no question that underperforming regulatory processes or regulatory processes that aren't working out as intended ought to be addressed to correct problems before creating new regulations from wholecloth--but this is what ordinarily happens anyway since fed. employees have no incentive to make their own work harder; and 4. this is just one more attempt to devalue the federal scale regulations, which is against the interests of businesses nationwide since there is nothing worse for a business than the unpredictability of rules varying from state to state. This bill is couched in terminology that suggests everyone should be "on board," but the reality is it is a veiled power grab from Federal agencies and does not add to the process; it only delegitimizes the role of federal oversight, which is often key to consistency of rules nationwide to prevent conflicting compliance regimes from state to state.
    Like (158)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a thinly veiled effort at controlling executive branch departments through congressional intimidation. Please vote no.
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    This is opening up the gate on the hen house so the foxes can take a look to make sure it's going ok?!? Government has a mandate to regulate and enforce the laws of the land. There are watchdogs already who police their processes and spending. This is a time waster
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    How is this even controversial? Our federal government is over $19 trillion in debt. Congress MUST make federal agencies more accountable.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    Anything that gives congress a broad brush to deregulate anything at the moment seems like a bad idea to me, given the fact that they seem not to be concerned with ethics violations.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Anything that streamlines/cuts down the federal government and costs I can get behind.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    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.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Government already moves very slowly. This would make thing worse. On top of that Congress approves the budget, so it seems like this secondary reporting would be redundant.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Regulations have been generally enacted to protect the public when business and corporations are more concerned about profits and money than for the good of the people.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Government agencies need to run effectively and hold politicians accountable to ensure democracy and decent living to citizens in this country
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Publicizing the fiscal decisions of agencies should aide in reigning in their spending, which is desperately needed towards our federal budget. Better decisions on budgeting can be made with a wider understanding of how money is being spent.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Why would you not want to know how your money is spent?
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    this bill would make it nearly impossible for the federal government to protect public health, workers’ rights, and consumers. Agencies would have to pick the cheapest rules — not the safest, or the best. Vote no!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    I'd rather a completely unveiled path to large-scale deregulation. But if it takes a thinly veiled one, and it takes the teeth out of the dictatorial executive branch agencies and makes them accountable to the people's representatives in Congress, more power to it.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, let's streamline rules and eliminate redundancy. But wouldn't it be more efficient and cost effective to just eliminate Departments or Agencies?
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Spending justification is what the budget negotiation process is all about. Additional legislation would complicate the process & make it more difficult. Besides, the GAO (Government Accountability Office) already does this v e r y well. Furthermore, any legislation circumventing the GAO would be a thinly veiled attempt to normalize pork barrel buffets. If you truly want to streamline the process, how about passing budgets for multiple years at a time!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill appears to be attempting to impose greater restraints on our agency regulatory development process, and is written as if none of these provisions existed. I work in a heavily regulated field on behalf of business, and there is already heavy mandate to assess the cost for government implementation (administrative burden) as well as the financial burden on the regulated entities. Direct and indirect socioeconomic impact assessment is standard. I will say that the government estimates are often too low, but I suspect a close read of this piece of legislation is that it has provisions to make it onerous if not impossible to promulgate and adopt major regulations. The financial estimates by the government are published prior to the public comment period and the public and businesses alike are free to and often do scrutinize the underlying assumptions of the government cost estimates. This is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and I would ask my Rep. and others to vote against this. If there are merits to improving the process, then they should be clearly,proposed as specific chapter and section revisions to the existing laws, with an associated justification for each.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE