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October 30, 2017

U.S. House Passes Key Regulatory Reform Measure

On October 25, the U.S. House passed H.R. 469, the Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2017, on a 234 to 187 vote. The bill, which was written by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), limits the use of the practice of “sue and settle.” This process allows special interests to force federal government agencies to issue new regulations on tight deadlines.

The Metals Service Center Institute has long opposed this tactic because it does not allow for adequate input from either the public or industry stakeholders. Additionally, artificial deadlines give agencies too little time to explore the potential consumer and business costs of the regulation before it goes into effect. Rep. Collins’ bill requires that federal agencies inform the public of lawsuits that could force regulatory action. It also requires that they publish and consider public comments on proposed consent decrees or regulatory settlements prior to being finalized.

In a statement issued after the House vote, Rep. Collins argued, “A government by and for the people has no business allowing unelected bureaucrats to redraft laws behind closed doors.” He said that he was pleased that the House took action “to draw back the curtain on federal agencies that have colluded with special interest groups at the expense of American workers and families.”

Click here to see how your member of Congress voted on H.R. 469. The U.S. Senate has not yet considered this legislation.