Citizen Health & Safety
House Judiciary Committee Attempts to Make It More Difficult to Protect the Public
-For Immediate Release-
November 3, 2011
Contact: Brian Gumm, (202) 683-4812, firstname.lastname@example.org
House Judiciary Committee Attempts to
Make It More Difficult to Protect the Public
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2011—Today, the House Judiciary Committee approved the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA). The bill is the second piece of regulatory process legislation approved by the committee in the past two weeks that would make it more difficult to protect the public from environmental, health, safety, and economic hazards.
"Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the REINS Act, legislation that would hold important public protections hostage to congressional gridlock and political posturing," said Katherine McFate, president of OMB Watch. "Now, the committee wants to bulldoze a half century of rulemaking procedures with the deliberately mislabeled Regulatory Accountability Act."
The RAA would mandate new, duplicative agency reviews; overturn established administrative law practices; give corporate interests a myriad of new ways to influence, slow, or simply stop the rulemaking process; and allow judges to substitute their own judgments for those of scientific experts and agency staff.
"The RAA would unleash a wrecking crew of lawyers and lobbyists on the rulemaking process. The interests of large corporations are already given far too much weight in setting industry standards and safeguards; the drastic changes embedded in this law would ensure Big Business interests override the concerns of small businesses and protections for ordinary people," said McFate. "This is not the kind of reform the American people want."
McFate continued, "Research shows that a majority of voters – from across the political spectrum – want better enforcement of existing health, safety, environmental, and financial safeguards. When voters say they want more accountability, they mean they want their government to be accountable to them, not to special interests. The RAA would give corporate interests more control over agency actions and kneecap the agencies' ability to protect the public."
More information on the RAA is available at http://www.ombwatch.org/raaanalysis. More information on the REINS Act is also available, at http://www.ombwatch.org/reinsact and http://www.sensiblesafeguards.org/node/8.
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OMB Watch is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability, citizen participation in public policy decisions, and the use of fiscal and regulatory policy to serve the public interest. Find OMB Watch on Facebook and Twitter.