January 17, 2017

An MSCI Win In The U.S. House As Lawmakers Approve Regulatory Accountability Act

Last Wednesday, the U.S. House passed H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act on a 238 to 183 vote. As The Hill explains, the bill would require federal executive branch departments to craft the “least expensive” regulations that they can. 

As a reminder, in December, the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) joined 380 businesses, trade associations, and local chambers of commerce in a letter urging U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to make consideration of H.R. 5 an early priority for the 115th Congress. “The Metals Service Center Institute strongly supports the Regulatory Accountability Act because it will increase transparency and reduce consumer and business costs,” said MSCI President and CEO M. Robert Weidner. “Today, regulatory bodies have as much, or even more, influence over our lives and our businesses than Congress. While regulations are necessary to ensure consumer and worker well being, overregulation imposes significant costs on Americans without improving their daily lives or enhancing their safety or prosperity. We look forward to working with the 115th Congress to pass this bill as well as other strong measures to create jobs and grow the industrial metals supply chain.” 

The Regulatory Accountability Act would require federal agencies to invest more effort earlier in the rulemaking process to gather data, evaluate alternatives, and receive public input about the costs and benefits of its rules. 

The letter argued, “Federal regulations should be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while still implementing Congressional intent.” It also noted that H.R. 5 “builds on established principles of fair regulatory process and review that have been embodied in bipartisan executive orders dating to at least the Clinton administration.” 

The letter’s signers hailed from 47 different states and the District of Columbia and represented a multitude of sectors other than the industrial metals industry, including agriculture, energy, transportation, and manufacturing.