NAHB Commends Senate Regulatory Relief Bill

Filed in Capitol Hill by on April 27, 2017 1 Comment

Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) on April 26 introduced NAHB-supported legislation that would reform the federal regulatory process and cut red tape so federal programs operate as intended. A companion bill passed the House in January.

“NAHB commends Sens. Portman and Heitkamp for introducing the Regulatory Accountability Act,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “This bipartisan legislation will help ease regulatory burdens on home builders and other small businesses by making the regulatory process more transparent, federal agencies more accountable and regulations more cost-effective.”

The measure is based on bipartisan executive orders from the past five presidents, and it would result in a more transparent, accountable regulatory process that would yield more effective regulatory outcomes for American businesses, workers, and their families. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require effective cost-benefit analysis.  The bill would codify the duty to analyze the costs and benefits of new regulations. It would also require agencies to adopt the most cost-effective approach to achieve their objectives.
  • Improve transparency and accountability in the federal regulatory process. The bill would invite early public participation on major rules and require federal agencies to disclose the information they rely upon, ensuring that there is greater transparency in the rulemaking process. It also would ensure that agencies use sound scientific and technical data to justify new rules.
  • Provide certainty for businesses and consumers. Many of the requirements the regulatory system operates under are contained in executive orders, which can be changed overnight. Codification of the key bipartisan regulatory executive orders that have been in place from President Reagan through President Obama today would provide certainty to federal agencies, as well as businesses and consumers.
  • Create an automatic review process for major regulations. The bill would require federal agencies to build in an automatic review for the largest, most significant rules at least once every 10 years to ensure that those rules are still meeting regulatory objectives and work as intended, and to consider whether they could be improved to produce better results or be more cost-effective.
  • Allow federal agency hearings on the most significant regulations. The measure would require federal agencies to follow a more evidence-based approach in crafting rules that will cost more than $1 billion annually. This legislation would give those impacted by the regulations access to an agency hearing to test the key disputed facts underlying these mega-rules..

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are original cosponsors of the bill.  A full summary of the bill can be found here, a comparison between the House and Senate bills here.

For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.

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