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Congressional Panel Approves Bill Requiring Cost-Benefit Review of Regulation
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a SEMA-supported bill aimed at reducing the cost of burdensome regulations on business owners and job creators. The “Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011” would require federal agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis when issuing new rules. Although a few laws already permit such analysis, the legislation would overturn the prohibition contained in other laws, such as the Clean Air Act, Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act and Endangered Species Act.
The data and evidence gathered in the analysis would be subject to judicial review. The data would also be based on the best available science as defined by the Information Quality Act. Before issuing a major regulation, federal agencies would be required to issue an advance public notice explaining the issue and soliciting public comment on a potential new rule and alternative options. Agencies would generally be required to adopt the “least costly” approach to achieve policy goals established by Congress. The legislation would challenge the use of guidance documents issued by agencies as a way to avoid writing rules subject to public comment.
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