Protect Federal Standards on Health, the Environment, and Labor
UPDATE (5/17): The Senate Committee on Homeland Security has passed S.951. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a full vote. The Environmental Defense Fund calls the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) "the scariest legislation you've never heard of." The bill is part of a package of bills put forth by the Trump administration that would give corporate interests the ability to roadblock nearly all future regulations created by federal agencies, and jeopardize existing protections. Currently, federal agencies play an important role in creating detailed rules on everything from toxic chemicals, to labor protections, to disability access standards and consumer finance regulations. The current rule-making process is long, burdensome, and heavily favors industry. The RAA would take this bureaucratic process and make it even worse, likely to the point of complete paralysis, by creating dozens of new hurdles and standards that a rule must meet to be finalized and stay in effect. For example, in just one of many hoops, agencies would need to prove that a major rule is the "most cost-effective" option by performing thorough cost-benefit analyses of every possible less stringent alternative rule, and then, the industry would have the opportunity to challenge any part of these analyses. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the RAA creates "an impossible legal standard to meet and would most likely result in endless litigation." Masked in technicalities, the Regulatory Accountability Act is a backdoor attempt to fundamentally dismantle the ability of federal agencies to create regulations, and allow industry free play at the expense of our health, environment, and civil rights. The bill has already passed the House, and is moving forward quickly in the Senate. "