House Republicans Pass Sweeping Regulatory Reform Bill

By | January 11, 2017

Republicans on Wednesday passed a bill in the House of Representatives that touched on nearly every step U.S. agencies take in creating and applying new rules, continuing their blitz to radically reform “abusive” federal regulation of areas from the environment to the workplace.

In a 238-183 vote, the House passed the “Regulatory Accountability Act,” which combined eight bills aimed at changing how the vast government bureaucracy runs. Only five Democrats voted for it.

The legislation would give President-elect Donald Trump tools “to wipe out abusive regulation,” said Bob Goodlatte, the Judiciary Committee chairman who is among the many House leaders calling for lighter regulation and saying the costs to comply with federal rules are too high.

Republicans say there is little accountability for regulations that apply to almost every aspect of American life because they are created by appointed officials and not elected representatives. Federal agencies operate either independently or under the president’s authority.

House Speaker Paul Ryan

The current reform push is part of Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday.

As House Republicans push for reform – last week they passed bills requiring Congressional approval of major rules and giving Congress power to kill dozens of recently enacted ones – Democrats are fighting back.

Democrats have said the many extra procedures required by the reform bills would stall agencies’ work, making it impossible to create needed regulations on the environment, financial markets and other areas. Democrats contend that slowing down rulemaking is intended to help big businesses escape oversight.

The accountability act would jeopardize the government’s capability “to safeguard public health and safety, the environment, workplace safety and consumer financial protections,” the Judiciary Committee’s senior Democrat, John Conyers, said before the vote.

“Worse yet, many of these new requirements are intended to facilitate the ability of regulated entities – such as well-funded corporate interests – to intervene and derail regulatory protections they oppose,” Conyers said.

Specifically, the bill would require agencies to post more detailed information on proposals for an extended period of time, limit judge’s interpretations in legal challenges, and require agencies to enact the lowest-cost version of a rule.

The House is expected to vote on Thursday on changes to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the major securities and derivatives regulators.

Still, none of these bills may become law, as Democrats hold enough seats in the Senate to filibuster.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Leslie Adler and Andrew Hay)

Get Insurance Journal Every Day

Latest Comments

  • January 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm
    FFA says:
    Or Blame. We all know he has already had a positive impact on Jobs. He wont let up on the replacement plan. Hopefuly, he will put it back in the hands of local agents instead ... read more
  • January 17, 2017 at 1:23 pm
    Celtica says:
    Have the mere peasants give Trump credit -- when he credits himself first and foremost? Wonder where'll he be when it comes time to take responsibility for disruptions that w... read more
  • January 16, 2017 at 5:16 pm
    TrumPolarBear says:
    I hope that, after all the critical issues have been addressed, Congress enacts legislation that increases penalties for influence peddling by federal employees, past or prese... read more
See all comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features