Thursday, January 7, 2016

CONYERS: House Passage of Anti-Regulatory Bills Endangers the Welfare of all Americans and Our Environment

WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed two anti-regulatory bills led by the conservative Majority, H.R. 1155, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act (SCRUB) and H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, largely along party lines.  

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) released the following statement upon final passage of the aforementioned bills:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“Rather than pass legislation that is effective and proactive, the conservative Majority has just passed two bills that undermine the ability of our government to protect the health and safety of all Americans.”

“H.R. 1155, the so-called ‘SCRUB’ Act threatens to drown agencies in additional layers of red-tape and make it nearly impossible to establish any new rule, no matter how pressing, or to issue any guidance on existing rules.  Under this bill, an agency must treat every regulation the same, regardless of the urgency of a situation or the subject matter of the regulation.  The bill would establish a regulatory ‘cut-go’ process forcing agencies to prioritize between existing protections and responding to new threats to our health and safety. Without exception, the cut-go mandate would prohibit a regulatory agency from issuing any new rule or informal statement – even in the case of an emergency or imminent harm to public health – until the agency first offsets the costs of that new rule."

“By requiring agencies to adhere to such a rigid process regardless of the circumstances, the SCRUB Act will endanger public welfare and unnecessarily delay federal rulemaking by years. Moreover, each agency already conducts oversight through retrospective review of agency rules, narrowing the delegations of authority to agencies, controlling agency appropriations, and conducting oversight of agency activity."

“H.R. 712, a package of three anti-regulatory bills, is yet another measure that would generate needless procedures on agencies and open the door for superfluous litigation down the road.
This bill would establish a six-month moratorium on all regulations, with limited exception, significantly delaying the federal rulemaking process by which agencies ensure that Americans are protected from serious harms such as dirty air and water, unsafe products, and reckless behavior by large financial institutions. It would also add barriers to consent decrees that allow agencies to hold polluters and other wrongdoers accountable."

“These bills represent a dangerous and unbalanced attempt to derail the mission of agencies to protect public health and safety.  Rather than considering legislation that will create jobs, grow the economy, or make Americans safer , the Majority has started this year with legislation that will tie agencies’ hands with unnecessary red-tape and waste valuable agency resources and taxpayer dollars.”

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