NEWS RELEASE: June 28, 2022
Contact: Brian Gumm
Center for Progressive Reform
(202) 747-0698 x2
Data for Progress
New Poll Finds Strong Bipartisan Support for Building a Modernized, People-Centered Regulatory System
Likely voters across the political spectrum agree that
making the federal rulemaking process more inclusive and equitable will strengthen public protections:
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. public strongly backs legislation that would overhaul the nation’s regulatory system by ending corporate dominance of the federal rulemaking process and enabling government agencies to better protect people and the planet, according to a new poll released today by the Center for Progressive Reform and Data for Progress.
Overwhelming majorities of likely voters across the political spectrum expressed support for the legislation, a rare point of agreement in a polarized political climate and a sign that regulatory modernization offers a unique opportunity for bipartisan action in a divided Congress.
These results are significant because the regulatory system does much of the heavy lifting when it comes to implementing federal policy. If the federal government is going to effectively tackle our most challenging problems — from climate change to racial injustice to economic inequality — the regulatory system will have to play a key role.
The Stop Corporate Capture Act (H.R. 6107), now pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, would reform the regulatory system by empowering the public and prioritizing equity in federal decision-making. The poll tested public attitudes on several of its key provisions. Today, the Center for Progressive Reform and Data for Progress are releasing these polling data and an explanatory memo that describes their significance for policymakers and advocates.
One finding was that likely voters backed a provision in the bill that would establish a new government office charged with supporting greater public participation during the rulemaking process by a +26-point margin (58 percent in favor compared to 32 percent opposed). Strong majority support held among self-identified Democrats (47-point margin), Independents (19-point margin), and Republicans (9-point margin).
“A defining attribute of our regulatory system is the active role the public plays in shaping the implementation and enforcement of new policies. The opportunities for civic engagement during the rulemaking process are incredibly robust,” said James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform and memo co-author. “The public clearly values this aspect of how we develop new safeguards and is eager to find even more ways to have their views reflected in the policies that affect them.”
The results also revealed strong public dissatisfaction with corporate interests manipulating the rulemaking process to favor their narrow interests at the expense of the common good. In particular, the poll found a large majority of likely voters (by a +36-point margin) were less likely to trust scientific studies submitted by corporations during the rulemaking process. This pattern of distrust held across the political spectrum.
The Stop Corporate Capture Act contains several provisions aimed at ensuring that research submitted by corporations meets rigorous integrity standards. The poll results found strong support for these provisions. By a +61-point margin (76 percent support vs. 15 percent opposition), respondents supported a provision in the bill that would make it a crime for corporations to submit research or studies that they know contain false information.
“Looking back over recent decades, it is clear that the U.S. regulatory system has been a tremendous success story,” said Lew Blank, an analyst at Data for Progress and memo co-author. “But there are steps we can take to make how we develop new safeguards work better, and these data suggest the path we should follow.”
The need to strengthen the regulatory system is receiving growing attention from federal policymakers. In addition to the Stop Corporate Capture Act, President Joe Biden launched a complementary effort on the first day of his administration when he issued a memorandum on “Modernizing Regulatory Review.”
To learn more about the poll results, visit https://progressivereform.org/our-work/regulatory-policy/blueprint-regulatory-democracy-polling/.
From April 22 to 26, 2022, Data for Progress conducted a survey of 1,179 likely voters nationally using web panel respondents. The sample was weighted to be representative of likely voters by age, gender, education, race, and voting history. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ±3 percentage points.
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Data for Progress is a progressive think tank and polling firm, which arms movements with data-driven tools to fight for a more equitable future. DFP provides polling, data-based messaging, and policy generation for the progressive movement, and advises campaigns and candidates with the tools they need to win. DFP polling is regularly cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and hundreds of other trusted news organizations.
Learn more at dataforprogress.org or follow DFP on Twitter at @dataprogress.