Jan. 13, 2015 by Sidney Shapiro

Irresponsible Reform: The House Favors Extreme Legislation That Would Delay Public Protections by Ten Years or More

Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, which would amend the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to add over 74 new procedural requirements to the rule-making process, including more than 29 new “documentation” requirements.  The goal of administrative procedure is to ensure that the government’s adoption of regulation is accountable and fair, but not at the expense of hamstringing the ability of agencies to fulfill the public interest.  The House obviously has no such concern.  Agencies already take four to eight years to promulgate any type of complex and controversial regulation, and the new requirements would add another two to three years or more to the process.  House Republicans voted today to delay clean air, clean water, safer workplaces, and less toxic products for their constituents. In addition, they have given Wall Street a green light to re-engage in behavior risky enough to collect enormous profits while taxpayers are left footing the bill for the inevitable devastating consequences.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its support for “modernizing” the APA.  While it is true that the APA has not been amended in any significant manner since 1947, the claim that …

Jan. 9, 2015 by Erin Kesler

This week, House Republicans re-introduced the “Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015,” (H.R. 185).

Proponents of the bill are claiming that it would “modernize” the rule-making process and streamline government inefficiencies.

In fact, the RAA would bog down attempts by federal agencies to protect our health, safety and environment in red tape by adding over 74 new requirements to the rule-making process, including over 29 new “documentation” requirements. 

Center for Progressive Reform Senior Analyst James Goodwin compiled a list of all the potential requirements for agency rule-making included in the bill. Goodwin notes that, “most of the requirements are nonsensical that at best add nothing to the rulemaking process—and at worst distract agencies from those considerations that would lead to better quality rules.”

The full, damning list is copied below.  Adding extensive paperwork and bureaucratic burdens to the rule-making process would threaten the President’s initiative …

Jan. 9, 2015 by Rena Steinzor

A year ago, about 300,000 people in and around Charleston, West Virginia, lost their drinking water source when thousands of gallons of a toxic chemical known as MCHM (4-methylcyclohexanemethanol) leaked into the nearby Elk River through a hole in a rusted-out storage tank. Last month, the wheels of justice began to catch up with the owners of the responsible company when they were indicted by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Coincidentally, the West Virginia indictments came down on the same day that the Justice Department charged 14 people in Massachusetts for their role in producing and distributing meningitis-tainted steroid injections that killed 64 people.

The same-day indictments framed a question business leaders would do well to contemplate: When do corporations and their executives cross the line between unavoidable human error and preventable criminal misconduct? Prosecutors seem increasingly ready to push reckless management to the criminal side …

More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Jan. 28, 2015

Your Up-to-Date 10-Day Forecast for Capitol Hill: A Blizzard of Antiregulatory Bills

Jan. 26, 2015

In Their Rush to Help Big Business, Antiregulatory Members of Congress are Trampling Small Ones Along the Way

Jan. 23, 2015

With State of the Union Address, Obama Begins Sketching Out a Positive View of Government

Jan. 23, 2015

Killer Coal

Jan. 22, 2015

The Anti-Regulatory Crowd's Small Business Rhetoric Is a Scam

Jan. 21, 2015

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Should Reverse his Opposition to the PMT

Jan. 20, 2015

Winning Safer Workplaces with Simple Changes