House Judiciary Considers Regulatory Reform Measures

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed four measures dealing with various aspects of the Federal regulatory process:

  • HR 1493, Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act – would require Federal agencies to publish and call for public comment before proposed consent decrees or settlements go before the court.  At issue are concerns about overuse of “sue-and-settle” rather than enforcement.
  • HR 2122, Regulatory Accountability Act – would change the Administrative Procedures Act to expand cost-benefit analysis requirements and require Federal agencies to select the least cost regulatory option.
  • HR 2542, Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act – also looks at cost-benefit analysis revisions for economic impacts and consequences; would require publication of the Regulatory Flexibility Agenda, and outlines specific procedures for comment gathering as part of a proposed rulemaking.
  • HR 2641, Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development Act – calls for a fast-tracking of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews and sets specific deadlines by which reviews must be completed.

All four measures were taken up and passed by the House in the last Congress but were never considered in the Senate.  A similar fate is anticipated for the bills this year as well.