2:40 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

The American people are now four elections and more than 6 years into the worst period after an economic crisis since the Great Depression. Despite some encouraging recent signs, jobs have not truly recovered. Wages have definitely not recovered. The rate of new business startups has not recovered. Instead, permanent exits from the labor force are at historic levels, real wages have fallen, and dependency on government assistance has increased. People have been giving up because they can't find

a confident path forward.

In this recovery, we are not recovering; we are losing something precious. We are losing what has allowed this Nation to contribute more to human happiness than any other nation in history. We are losing the opportunity to live the American Dream. What is that dream? It is the dream that if you work hard, if you take responsibility for your life, if you reach for the opportunity that your human potential makes possible, you will be free to succeed. You will be free to pursue your happiness. And

as you achieve that happiness, your children will have a better chance in life than you did.

All across this country, people who have been struggling, people whose jobs and wages have been disappearing, people who have been leaving the labor pool for the dependency pool, people who have seen no way possible to start a new business, can feel in their bones that this American Dream, the dream that they cherish and their children need, is slipping away.

What is killing the American Dream?

It is not ordinary Americans. It is not foreign enemies. It is not global phenomena. It is not natural disasters. More than anything else, it is the endless drain of resources that takes working people's hard-earned wages to Washington, and Washington's endless erection of regulatory roadblocks in the path of opportunity and growth.

Today, the combined economic burden of Federal taxation and regulation is over $3 trillion, almost 20 percent of our economy. Of that, the larger part is the burden of regulation--now estimated to reach at least $1.86 trillion. That Federal regulatory burden is larger than the 2013 gross domestic product of all but the top 10 countries in the world. It is half the size of Germany's entire gross domestic product. It is more than one-third the size of Japan's. Most important, that burden is $15,000

per American household, nearly 30 percent of average household income in 2013.

No one says we need no regulation, but who can credibly say we need regulation that costs this much.

[Time: 14:45]

America cannot possibly retain its competitive position in the world and create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans if the Federal Government continues to drop such a crushing weight on our economy.

My Regulatory Accountability Act addresses head on the problem of endlessly escalating, excessive Federal regulatory costs, and it addresses it in clear, commonsense ways that we can all support because it is based on principles proven in bipartisan practice from Presidents of both parties since Ronald Reagan.

What are those principles? Here are some of the most important: require agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative that meets statutory objectives; if needed to protect public health, safety, or welfare, allow flexibility to choose costlier rules, but make sure the added benefits justify the added costs; improve public outreach and agency factfinding to identify better, more efficient regulatory alternatives; require agencies to use the best reasonably-obtainable science; provide

on-the-record but streamlined administrative hearings in the highest-impact rulemakings--those that impose $1 billion or more in annual costs--so interested parties can subject critical evidence to cross-examination; require advanced notice of proposed major rulemakings to increase public input before costly agency positions are proposed and entrenched; strengthen judicial review of new agency regulations to make sure the Federal Courts can enforce these requirements.

In a nutshell, this bill says to every agency: Fulfill the statutory goals the United States Congress has set for you. Protect health. Protect safety. Protect consumers. Protect the vulnerable. You are free to do that, and you should do that whenever Congress gives you those orders, but as you achieve those goals, make sure you do it with better public input, better-tested information, and in the least-costly way.

The minute this bill becomes law, what will start to happen? America will start to save hundreds of billions of dollars it doesn't need to spend. That is real money that can be put to better use creating jobs and wages for our constituents, real money that hardworking Americans can use to start and grow their own businesses, real money that can be used to restore the American Dream, all without stopping a single needed regulation from being issued.

I reserve the balance of my time.

2:47 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Members of the House, I strongly oppose H.R. 185, the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act. Under the guise of attempting to improve the regulatory process, H.R. 185 will, in truth, undermine that process. It invites increased industry intervention and imposes more than 60--6-0--new analytical requirements that could add years to the regulatory process. [Page: H250]

They make no bones about it in this bill. As a result, H.R. 185 would seriously hamper the ability of government agencies to safeguard public health and safety, as well as environmental protections, workplace safety, and consumer financial protections. That is what we are debating at this moment.

My greatest concern is that H.R. 185 will undermine the public health, safety, and well-being of Americans. The ways in which it does it are almost too numerous to list here, but I will mention a few.

First, H.R. 185 would override critical laws that prohibit agencies from considering costs when public health and safety are at stake. Imagine, we would pass a law that would override critical laws that prohibit agencies from considering costs when public health and safety are at stake, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

This means that agency officials will now be required to balance the costs of an air pollution standard with the costs of anticipated deaths and illnesses that will result in the absence of such regulations.

At a hearing on an earlier version of this bill in the 112th Congress, one witness--our witness--testified that if this measure were in effect in the 1970s, the government ``almost certainly would not have required the removal of most lead from gasoline until perhaps decades later.''

This explains why numerous respected agencies, consumer organizations, public interest groups, labor movements, and environmental organizations all strongly oppose this dangerous legislation.

For example, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards--consisting of more than 70 national public interest, labor, consumer, and environmental organizations--say the bill will ``grind to a halt the rulemaking process at the core of implementing the Nation's public health, workplace safety, and environmental standards.''

Another organization, very much respected, the Natural Resources Defense Council, adds that the practical impact of the measure before us now, H.R. 185, ``would be to make it difficult, if not impossible, to put in place any new safeguards for the public, no matter what the issue.''

Now, I am not sure if the authors of this measure understand the deep criticism and reservation that the scientific and academic community have about the practical impact of this measure.

Another, the Consumer Federation of America states that H.R. 185 ``would handcuff all Federal agencies in their efforts to protect consumers'' and that it ``would override important bipartisan laws that have been in effect for years, as well as more recently-enacted laws to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive financial services, unsafe food, and unsafe consumer products.''

Do we understand what it is we are dealing with here this day?

Further, the AFL-CIO warns that the bill's procedural and analytical requirements add years to the regulatory process--adds years to the regulatory process--delaying the development of major workplace safety rules and will ``cost workers their lives.''

As more than 80 highly-respected administrative law academics and practitioners observe, the bill's many ill-defined new procedural and analytical requirements will engender ``20 or 30 years of litigation before its requirements are clearly understood.'' What do we have in mind? What is trying to be accomplished here?

My next concern is that this legislation would give well-funded business interests the opportunity to exert even greater influence over the rulemaking process and agencies.

We already know that the ability of corporate and business interests to influence agency rulemaking far exceeds that by groups representing the public. In other words, the groups representing the public already have less influence to influence agency rulemaking, and we are here proposing in broad daylight to make it even worse, much worse.

But rather than leveling the playing field, this measure will further tip the balance in favor of business interests by giving them multiple opportunities to intervene in the rulemaking process, including through less differential judicial review.

Finally, this measure is based on the faulty premise

that regulations result in economically stifling costs, kill jobs, and promote uncertainty.

While supporters of H.R. 185 will undoubtedly cite a study claiming the cost of regulation exceed $1.8 trillion, the Congressional Research Service, Center for Progressive Reform, and the Economic Policy Institute all found that a prior iteration of this study was based on incomplete and irrelevant data.

In fact, the majority's own witnesses at a hearing on nearly identical legislation clearly debunked this argument. Mr. Christopher DeMuth, who appeared on behalf of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, testified that the employment effects of regulation ``are indeterminant.''

The other central argument put forth by proponents of this legislation--that regulatory uncertainty hurts businesses--has similarly been debunked.

Bruce Bartlett, a senior policy analyst in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations observes:

Regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment.

That is from a Bush administrator, who was a senior policy analyst in the Reagan administration, Bruce Bartlett.

Not surprisingly, the administration issued a strong veto threat just yesterday, stating that the bill ``would impose unprecedented and unnecessary procedural requirements on agencies that will prevent them from efficiently performing their statutory responsibilities.''

Rather than heeding these serious concerns, the supporters of H.R. 185 simply want to push forward without any hearings, markups, or deliberative process in this Congress with a bill that has absolutely no political viability.

I urge, I plead with my colleagues to oppose this very dangerous legislation, and, Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:47 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Members of the House, I strongly oppose H.R. 185, the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act. Under the guise of attempting to improve the regulatory process, H.R. 185 will, in truth, undermine that process. It invites increased industry intervention and imposes more than 60--6-0--new analytical requirements that could add years to the regulatory process. [Page: H250]

They make no bones about it in this bill. As a result, H.R. 185 would seriously hamper the ability of government agencies to safeguard public health and safety, as well as environmental protections, workplace safety, and consumer financial protections. That is what we are debating at this moment.

My greatest concern is that H.R. 185 will undermine the public health, safety, and well-being of Americans. The ways in which it does it are almost too numerous to list here, but I will mention a few.

First, H.R. 185 would override critical laws that prohibit agencies from considering costs when public health and safety are at stake. Imagine, we would pass a law that would override critical laws that prohibit agencies from considering costs when public health and safety are at stake, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

This means that agency officials will now be required to balance the costs of an air pollution standard with the costs of anticipated deaths and illnesses that will result in the absence of such regulations.

At a hearing on an earlier version of this bill in the 112th Congress, one witness--our witness--testified that if this measure were in effect in the 1970s, the government ``almost certainly would not have required the removal of most lead from gasoline until perhaps decades later.''

This explains why numerous respected agencies, consumer organizations, public interest groups, labor movements, and environmental organizations all strongly oppose this dangerous legislation.

For example, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards--consisting of more than 70 national public interest, labor, consumer, and environmental organizations--say the bill will ``grind to a halt the rulemaking process at the core of implementing the Nation's public health, workplace safety, and environmental standards.''

Another organization, very much respected, the Natural Resources Defense Council, adds that the practical impact of the measure before us now, H.R. 185, ``would be to make it difficult, if not impossible, to put in place any new safeguards for the public, no matter what the issue.''

Now, I am not sure if the authors of this measure understand the deep criticism and reservation that the scientific and academic community have about the practical impact of this measure.

Another, the Consumer Federation of America states that H.R. 185 ``would handcuff all Federal agencies in their efforts to protect consumers'' and that it ``would override important bipartisan laws that have been in effect for years, as well as more recently-enacted laws to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive financial services, unsafe food, and unsafe consumer products.''

Do we understand what it is we are dealing with here this day?

Further, the AFL-CIO warns that the bill's procedural and analytical requirements add years to the regulatory process--adds years to the regulatory process--delaying the development of major workplace safety rules and will ``cost workers their lives.''

As more than 80 highly-respected administrative law academics and practitioners observe, the bill's many ill-defined new procedural and analytical requirements will engender ``20 or 30 years of litigation before its requirements are clearly understood.'' What do we have in mind? What is trying to be accomplished here?

My next concern is that this legislation would give well-funded business interests the opportunity to exert even greater influence over the rulemaking process and agencies.

We already know that the ability of corporate and business interests to influence agency rulemaking far exceeds that by groups representing the public. In other words, the groups representing the public already have less influence to influence agency rulemaking, and we are here proposing in broad daylight to make it even worse, much worse.

But rather than leveling the playing field, this measure will further tip the balance in favor of business interests by giving them multiple opportunities to intervene in the rulemaking process, including through less differential judicial review.

Finally, this measure is based on the faulty premise

that regulations result in economically stifling costs, kill jobs, and promote uncertainty.

While supporters of H.R. 185 will undoubtedly cite a study claiming the cost of regulation exceed $1.8 trillion, the Congressional Research Service, Center for Progressive Reform, and the Economic Policy Institute all found that a prior iteration of this study was based on incomplete and irrelevant data.

In fact, the majority's own witnesses at a hearing on nearly identical legislation clearly debunked this argument. Mr. Christopher DeMuth, who appeared on behalf of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, testified that the employment effects of regulation ``are indeterminant.''

The other central argument put forth by proponents of this legislation--that regulatory uncertainty hurts businesses--has similarly been debunked.

Bruce Bartlett, a senior policy analyst in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations observes:

Regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment.

That is from a Bush administrator, who was a senior policy analyst in the Reagan administration, Bruce Bartlett.

Not surprisingly, the administration issued a strong veto threat just yesterday, stating that the bill ``would impose unprecedented and unnecessary procedural requirements on agencies that will prevent them from efficiently performing their statutory responsibilities.''

Rather than heeding these serious concerns, the supporters of H.R. 185 simply want to push forward without any hearings, markups, or deliberative process in this Congress with a bill that has absolutely no political viability.

I urge, I plead with my colleagues to oppose this very dangerous legislation, and, Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:47 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Members of the House, I strongly oppose H.R. 185, the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act. Under the guise of attempting to improve the regulatory process, H.R. 185 will, in truth, undermine that process. It invites increased industry intervention and imposes more than 60--6-0--new analytical requirements that could add years to the regulatory process. [Page: H250]

They make no bones about it in this bill. As a result, H.R. 185 would seriously hamper the ability of government agencies to safeguard public health and safety, as well as environmental protections, workplace safety, and consumer financial protections. That is what we are debating at this moment.

My greatest concern is that H.R. 185 will undermine the public health, safety, and well-being of Americans. The ways in which it does it are almost too numerous to list here, but I will mention a few.

First, H.R. 185 would override critical laws that prohibit agencies from considering costs when public health and safety are at stake. Imagine, we would pass a law that would override critical laws that prohibit agencies from considering costs when public health and safety are at stake, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

This means that agency officials will now be required to balance the costs of an air pollution standard with the costs of anticipated deaths and illnesses that will result in the absence of such regulations.

At a hearing on an earlier version of this bill in the 112th Congress, one witness--our witness--testified that if this measure were in effect in the 1970s, the government ``almost certainly would not have required the removal of most lead from gasoline until perhaps decades later.''

This explains why numerous respected agencies, consumer organizations, public interest groups, labor movements, and environmental organizations all strongly oppose this dangerous legislation.

For example, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards--consisting of more than 70 national public interest, labor, consumer, and environmental organizations--say the bill will ``grind to a halt the rulemaking process at the core of implementing the Nation's public health, workplace safety, and environmental standards.''

Another organization, very much respected, the Natural Resources Defense Council, adds that the practical impact of the measure before us now, H.R. 185, ``would be to make it difficult, if not impossible, to put in place any new safeguards for the public, no matter what the issue.''

Now, I am not sure if the authors of this measure understand the deep criticism and reservation that the scientific and academic community have about the practical impact of this measure.

Another, the Consumer Federation of America states that H.R. 185 ``would handcuff all Federal agencies in their efforts to protect consumers'' and that it ``would override important bipartisan laws that have been in effect for years, as well as more recently-enacted laws to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive financial services, unsafe food, and unsafe consumer products.''

Do we understand what it is we are dealing with here this day?

Further, the AFL-CIO warns that the bill's procedural and analytical requirements add years to the regulatory process--adds years to the regulatory process--delaying the development of major workplace safety rules and will ``cost workers their lives.''

As more than 80 highly-respected administrative law academics and practitioners observe, the bill's many ill-defined new procedural and analytical requirements will engender ``20 or 30 years of litigation before its requirements are clearly understood.'' What do we have in mind? What is trying to be accomplished here?

My next concern is that this legislation would give well-funded business interests the opportunity to exert even greater influence over the rulemaking process and agencies.

We already know that the ability of corporate and business interests to influence agency rulemaking far exceeds that by groups representing the public. In other words, the groups representing the public already have less influence to influence agency rulemaking, and we are here proposing in broad daylight to make it even worse, much worse.

But rather than leveling the playing field, this measure will further tip the balance in favor of business interests by giving them multiple opportunities to intervene in the rulemaking process, including through less differential judicial review.

Finally, this measure is based on the faulty premise

that regulations result in economically stifling costs, kill jobs, and promote uncertainty.

While supporters of H.R. 185 will undoubtedly cite a study claiming the cost of regulation exceed $1.8 trillion, the Congressional Research Service, Center for Progressive Reform, and the Economic Policy Institute all found that a prior iteration of this study was based on incomplete and irrelevant data.

In fact, the majority's own witnesses at a hearing on nearly identical legislation clearly debunked this argument. Mr. Christopher DeMuth, who appeared on behalf of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, testified that the employment effects of regulation ``are indeterminant.''

The other central argument put forth by proponents of this legislation--that regulatory uncertainty hurts businesses--has similarly been debunked.

Bruce Bartlett, a senior policy analyst in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations observes:

Regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment.

That is from a Bush administrator, who was a senior policy analyst in the Reagan administration, Bruce Bartlett.

Not surprisingly, the administration issued a strong veto threat just yesterday, stating that the bill ``would impose unprecedented and unnecessary procedural requirements on agencies that will prevent them from efficiently performing their statutory responsibilities.''

Rather than heeding these serious concerns, the supporters of H.R. 185 simply want to push forward without any hearings, markups, or deliberative process in this Congress with a bill that has absolutely no political viability.

I urge, I plead with my colleagues to oppose this very dangerous legislation, and, Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:59 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, at this time, it is my pleasure to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Peterson), who has worked with us across the aisle on this legislation for the last two Congresses. This issue goes back far before that as well. I want to thank him for his work on this.

[Time: 15:00]

2:59 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, at this time, it is my pleasure to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Peterson), who has worked with us across the aisle on this legislation for the last two Congresses. This issue goes back far before that as well. I want to thank him for his work on this.

[Time: 15:00]

2:59 PM EST

Collin Peterson, D-MN 7th

Mr. PETERSON. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015. This is commonsense legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support it. Our farmers, ranchers, and businesses are all feeling the burden of increased regulation, and we need to act to ensure that they are not regulated out of business.

We all understand how difficult it is to pass legislation, but it is sometimes often even harder to get the regulations written correctly. Sometimes you don't recognize the legislation that passed when they are done with it. Rather than following the intent of the law, we have seen interest groups using the regulatory process to interpret the law in their best interests. This should not be the case.

H.R. 185 will create a more streamlined, transparent, and accountable regulatory process and give the American people a stronger voice in agency decision-making. Specifically, the bill requires agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative, streamlines administrative hearings to provide for more stakeholder input, and provides for more judicial review of new agency regulations.

Similar legislation received bipartisan support in the House in previous Congresses, and I urge my colleagues to again support these commonsense reforms.

2:59 PM EST

Collin Peterson, D-MN 7th

Mr. PETERSON. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015. This is commonsense legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support it. Our farmers, ranchers, and businesses are all feeling the burden of increased regulation, and we need to act to ensure that they are not regulated out of business.

We all understand how difficult it is to pass legislation, but it is sometimes often even harder to get the regulations written correctly. Sometimes you don't recognize the legislation that passed when they are done with it. Rather than following the intent of the law, we have seen interest groups using the regulatory process to interpret the law in their best interests. This should not be the case.

H.R. 185 will create a more streamlined, transparent, and accountable regulatory process and give the American people a stronger voice in agency decision-making. Specifically, the bill requires agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative, streamlines administrative hearings to provide for more stakeholder input, and provides for more judicial review of new agency regulations.

Similar legislation received bipartisan support in the House in previous Congresses, and I urge my colleagues to again support these commonsense reforms.

3:01 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, and on behalf of my amendment to protect jobs.

H.R. 185 is a sweeping revision of the Administrative Procedure Act that [Page: H251]

convolutes the agency rulemaking process through numerous analytical requirements. These requirements, which are largely opposed by the Nation's leading administrative law experts, would cause years of delays in rulemaking or deregulate entire industries through rulemaking avoidance by agencies.

As a result of this deregulation, H.R. 185 would seriously undermine the critical role of agencies in protecting public health and safety, undermining protections across every regulated industry, from consumers' health and product safety, environmental protections, workplace safety, to consumer financial protections.

The only basis for this bill is the unsupported claims that regulations erode employment and economic growth. Contrary to my Republican colleagues' assertion that regulations kill jobs, a wealth of unimpeachable, bipartisan evidence has repeatedly and effectively debunked this claim.

The Office of Management and Budget estimated over the last decade that major regulations benefited the economy between $217 billion and $863 billion a year, at a mere cost of $57 billion to $84 billion.

Regulations don't cause economic loss, ladies and gentlemen. Instead, they have produced billions of dollars in economic gains. In fact, a 2013 study from the San Francisco Federal Reserve found that since the recession, there is zero correlation between job growth and regulations. Moreover, the San Francisco Federal Reserve also found that there is no evidence showing that increased regulations and taxes have any effect on the unemployment rate. If anything, weak growth was due to weak consumer

demand, not cost of regulations. Earlier studies by the New York Federal Reserve made similar findings.

So what is the evidence that regulations harm the economy? The only evidence--literally, the one study supporting the faulty premise that regulations harm the economy--relied on for the absurd figures repeated by the proponents of this bill derives from a study roundly unproven by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which found that the study's cost figures were cherry-picked, inaccurate, and based on evidence from decades ago without contemporary value.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

3:01 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, and on behalf of my amendment to protect jobs.

H.R. 185 is a sweeping revision of the Administrative Procedure Act that [Page: H251]

convolutes the agency rulemaking process through numerous analytical requirements. These requirements, which are largely opposed by the Nation's leading administrative law experts, would cause years of delays in rulemaking or deregulate entire industries through rulemaking avoidance by agencies.

As a result of this deregulation, H.R. 185 would seriously undermine the critical role of agencies in protecting public health and safety, undermining protections across every regulated industry, from consumers' health and product safety, environmental protections, workplace safety, to consumer financial protections.

The only basis for this bill is the unsupported claims that regulations erode employment and economic growth. Contrary to my Republican colleagues' assertion that regulations kill jobs, a wealth of unimpeachable, bipartisan evidence has repeatedly and effectively debunked this claim.

The Office of Management and Budget estimated over the last decade that major regulations benefited the economy between $217 billion and $863 billion a year, at a mere cost of $57 billion to $84 billion.

Regulations don't cause economic loss, ladies and gentlemen. Instead, they have produced billions of dollars in economic gains. In fact, a 2013 study from the San Francisco Federal Reserve found that since the recession, there is zero correlation between job growth and regulations. Moreover, the San Francisco Federal Reserve also found that there is no evidence showing that increased regulations and taxes have any effect on the unemployment rate. If anything, weak growth was due to weak consumer

demand, not cost of regulations. Earlier studies by the New York Federal Reserve made similar findings.

So what is the evidence that regulations harm the economy? The only evidence--literally, the one study supporting the faulty premise that regulations harm the economy--relied on for the absurd figures repeated by the proponents of this bill derives from a study roundly unproven by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which found that the study's cost figures were cherry-picked, inaccurate, and based on evidence from decades ago without contemporary value.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

3:04 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Indeed, the very authors of this study have since repudiated its use in policy debates, and any of their claims should be discredited as ideologically driven.

Under President Obama, the economy has roared back to life. Unemployment is falling at the fastest rate in three decades. Consumer and business spending have catalyzed the most growth in over a decade. Our Nation's gross domestic product grew at 5 percent between July and September last year--the fastest since 2003--and that will continue to grow throughout this year.

Granted, the bottom 99 percent of Americans have not felt the economic uptick that the top 1 percent have enjoyed, but that fact is not due to the cost of regulation but, rather, stagnant wage growth.

Mr. Chairman, it is clear that our economy is growing at its fastest rate. I would ask that my amendment, which has been ruled to be in order, will rule the day. I ask for your support.

3:04 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Indeed, the very authors of this study have since repudiated its use in policy debates, and any of their claims should be discredited as ideologically driven.

Under President Obama, the economy has roared back to life. Unemployment is falling at the fastest rate in three decades. Consumer and business spending have catalyzed the most growth in over a decade. Our Nation's gross domestic product grew at 5 percent between July and September last year--the fastest since 2003--and that will continue to grow throughout this year.

Granted, the bottom 99 percent of Americans have not felt the economic uptick that the top 1 percent have enjoyed, but that fact is not due to the cost of regulation but, rather, stagnant wage growth.

Mr. Chairman, it is clear that our economy is growing at its fastest rate. I would ask that my amendment, which has been ruled to be in order, will rule the day. I ask for your support.

3:06 PM EST

Tom Marino, R-PA 10th

Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 185, the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act. Simply put, this legislation requires Federal regulatory agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative that meets the statutory objectives.

In the 113th Congress, members of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law heard over and over again how these regulatory costs have been key factors that hold back our economic recovery and stand in the way of job creation. Our regulatory reform agenda for the 114th Congress begins today with the passage of the Regulatory Accountability Act. It is a good place to start. After all, it has been almost 70 years since enactment of the Administrative

Procedure Act. Unfortunately, the act has never been modernized nor even amended in any material way.

As chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law, it is my honor to support Chairman Goodlatte, and I urge Members to support H.R. 185, a bill that passed with strong bipartisan support in both the 112th and 113th Congress, so the bill can finally be given serious consideration in the new House, the U.S. Senate, and reach the President's desk.

If the President is serious about job creating, helping small businesses, and growing our economy, he will work with us and sign the Regulatory Accountability Act and other important regulatory reform measures into law.

Mr. Chairman, it is about time that we deliver real and permanent regulatory solutions to create jobs. Doing that starts with passage of the Regulatory Accountability Act.

I want to leave the American people with one thought. It is an example how the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, is doing what this bill tries to prevent.

I live in the middle of five farms. I have been there for almost two decades. Just recently, the EPA has attempted to get more control over farmland by saying that if there is a rainstorm and there is a puddle, or a farmer even spills milk, through the Navigable Waters Act, EPA has control over that land. As I said, I have been living in the middle of five farms for a couple of decades, and I have yet to see as much as a rowboat go through those farmlands.

3:06 PM EST

Tom Marino, R-PA 10th

Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 185, the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act. Simply put, this legislation requires Federal regulatory agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative that meets the statutory objectives.

In the 113th Congress, members of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law heard over and over again how these regulatory costs have been key factors that hold back our economic recovery and stand in the way of job creation. Our regulatory reform agenda for the 114th Congress begins today with the passage of the Regulatory Accountability Act. It is a good place to start. After all, it has been almost 70 years since enactment of the Administrative

Procedure Act. Unfortunately, the act has never been modernized nor even amended in any material way.

As chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law, it is my honor to support Chairman Goodlatte, and I urge Members to support H.R. 185, a bill that passed with strong bipartisan support in both the 112th and 113th Congress, so the bill can finally be given serious consideration in the new House, the U.S. Senate, and reach the President's desk.

If the President is serious about job creating, helping small businesses, and growing our economy, he will work with us and sign the Regulatory Accountability Act and other important regulatory reform measures into law.

Mr. Chairman, it is about time that we deliver real and permanent regulatory solutions to create jobs. Doing that starts with passage of the Regulatory Accountability Act.

I want to leave the American people with one thought. It is an example how the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, is doing what this bill tries to prevent.

I live in the middle of five farms. I have been there for almost two decades. Just recently, the EPA has attempted to get more control over farmland by saying that if there is a rainstorm and there is a puddle, or a farmer even spills milk, through the Navigable Waters Act, EPA has control over that land. As I said, I have been living in the middle of five farms for a couple of decades, and I have yet to see as much as a rowboat go through those farmlands.

3:09 PM EST

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentleman, the distinguished ranking member, for yielding the time.

Mr. Chairman, I would almost attempt to bring back ``Swanee River,'' or some old song that reflects ``here we go again.''

This is a bill that has been recycled. It has been recycled and it has been recycled. I believe the underlying premise of the bill is contrary to the values of the American people. This is proposed as a Regulatory Accountability Act to generate jobs and opportunity. I rise in opposition to a bill that stymies progress, hinders clean water and clean air, and provides mountainous obstacles to the national security of America.

What is the underlying premise of H.R. 185? The underlying premise of this bill is to require 70 new analytical requirements to the Administrative Procedure Act, and it requires Federal agencies to conduct an estimate of all indirect costs and benefits of proposed rules and all potential alternatives without providing any definition of what constitutes or does not constitute an indirect cost.

Mr. Chairman, is there logic to saying that you are streamlining the APA process when you are adding a mountainous, tall, multifloor skyscraper of requirements? Is it accurate to suggest that you are making the process better when you are causing agencies of varying sizes already suffering from the restraints of the budget-cutting process of my friends on the other side of the aisle, are you suggesting that they can then analyze indirect costs and actually save money?

We live in a climate and an era of difficult times. As a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, as our Secretary of Homeland Security has said, these are dangerous times. We have already indicated our sympathy for the people of France and viewed it as a wake-up call. Do you realize that some of the agencies facing this crisis will be Homeland Security, Health and Human Services? Does anyone recall the tragedy of Ebola and how quickly action was needed?

This undermines the integrity of the process by increasing the procedural burdens for Federal agencies when they try to carry out their mandates. In fact, this is not helpful when we entrust our agency personnel to help protect the American people against threats near and far.

So, Mr. Chairman, I am asking the question: What are we saving here? [Page: H252]

What money are we saving? Why are we undermining the very protection of this Nation?

Again, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, and, again, homeland security, all of these very important elements of safety for the American people will be undermined by H.R. 185. Today, Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to stand on the side of the American people and vigorously oppose H.R. 185.

3:09 PM EST

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentleman, the distinguished ranking member, for yielding the time.

Mr. Chairman, I would almost attempt to bring back ``Swanee River,'' or some old song that reflects ``here we go again.''

This is a bill that has been recycled. It has been recycled and it has been recycled. I believe the underlying premise of the bill is contrary to the values of the American people. This is proposed as a Regulatory Accountability Act to generate jobs and opportunity. I rise in opposition to a bill that stymies progress, hinders clean water and clean air, and provides mountainous obstacles to the national security of America.

What is the underlying premise of H.R. 185? The underlying premise of this bill is to require 70 new analytical requirements to the Administrative Procedure Act, and it requires Federal agencies to conduct an estimate of all indirect costs and benefits of proposed rules and all potential alternatives without providing any definition of what constitutes or does not constitute an indirect cost.

Mr. Chairman, is there logic to saying that you are streamlining the APA process when you are adding a mountainous, tall, multifloor skyscraper of requirements? Is it accurate to suggest that you are making the process better when you are causing agencies of varying sizes already suffering from the restraints of the budget-cutting process of my friends on the other side of the aisle, are you suggesting that they can then analyze indirect costs and actually save money?

We live in a climate and an era of difficult times. As a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, as our Secretary of Homeland Security has said, these are dangerous times. We have already indicated our sympathy for the people of France and viewed it as a wake-up call. Do you realize that some of the agencies facing this crisis will be Homeland Security, Health and Human Services? Does anyone recall the tragedy of Ebola and how quickly action was needed?

This undermines the integrity of the process by increasing the procedural burdens for Federal agencies when they try to carry out their mandates. In fact, this is not helpful when we entrust our agency personnel to help protect the American people against threats near and far.

So, Mr. Chairman, I am asking the question: What are we saving here? [Page: H252]

What money are we saving? Why are we undermining the very protection of this Nation?

Again, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, and, again, homeland security, all of these very important elements of safety for the American people will be undermined by H.R. 185. Today, Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to stand on the side of the American people and vigorously oppose H.R. 185.

3:12 PM EST

Dave Trott, R-MI 11th

Mr. TROTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Today, this House will vote on important bipartisan legislation designed to rein in costly Federal regulations. The Regulatory Accountability Act will modernize the Federal rulemaking process by directing the executive branch to fulfill its statutory goals in the least costly method and requires agencies to solicit input from, of all places, the public to find the most efficient regulatory solutions.

The Regulatory Accountability Act is necessary because ineffective, inefficient regulations from Washington have increased prices, lowered wages, killed jobs, and made our Nation less competitive. There is no question that these regulations are hurting hardworking families in Michigan's 11th District and throughout our great Nation.

The facts on Washington's overregulation are shocking. Federal regulations now impose an estimated burden of $1.86 trillion. That burden is suffocating America's job creators. It equals roughly $15,000 per household and 11 percent of our gross domestic product. To make matters worse, the new regulations cooked up in Washington are often unnecessary and have unintended consequences.

I spent 30 years in business and have seen firsthand the devastating impact overregulation from Washington can have on our economy. We cannot expect our job providers to grow and hire more employees if Washington is creating uncertainty, surprises, and continuing to bury our businesses in costly regulations.

Every dollar that is spent complying with needless regulations is one less dollar that can be spent by families who are trying to put food on the table and make ends meet in a challenging economy.

Mr. Chairman, the American people sent us here to work together to address the many challenges facing our Nation. They sent us here to craft solutions to create jobs and make opportunities for all Americans.

[Time: 15:15]

So I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the Regulatory Accountability Act so we can begin to lift the burden of Federal regulations off the American people. It is time to get the government out of the way.

3:13 PM EST

Dave Trott, R-MI 11th

Mr. TROTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Today, this House will vote on important bipartisan legislation designed to rein in costly Federal regulations. The Regulatory Accountability Act will modernize the Federal rulemaking process by directing the executive branch to fulfill its statutory goals in the least costly method and requires agencies to solicit input from, of all places, the public to find the most efficient regulatory solutions.

The Regulatory Accountability Act is necessary because ineffective, inefficient regulations from Washington have increased prices, lowered wages, killed jobs, and made our Nation less competitive. There is no question that these regulations are hurting hardworking families in Michigan's 11th District and throughout our great Nation.

The facts on Washington's overregulation are shocking. Federal regulations now impose an estimated burden of $1.86 trillion. That burden is suffocating America's job creators. It equals roughly $15,000 per household and 11 percent of our gross domestic product. To make matters worse, the new regulations cooked up in Washington are often unnecessary and have unintended consequences.

I spent 30 years in business and have seen firsthand the devastating impact overregulation from Washington can have on our economy. We cannot expect our job providers to grow and hire more employees if Washington is creating uncertainty, surprises, and continuing to bury our businesses in costly regulations.

Every dollar that is spent complying with needless regulations is one less dollar that can be spent by families who are trying to put food on the table and make ends meet in a challenging economy.

Mr. Chairman, the American people sent us here to work together to address the many challenges facing our Nation. They sent us here to craft solutions to create jobs and make opportunities for all Americans.

[Time: 15:15]

So I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the Regulatory Accountability Act so we can begin to lift the burden of Federal regulations off the American people. It is time to get the government out of the way.

3:15 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chair, I am pleased now to yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), a man who has served the House Judiciary Committee with great distinction.

3:15 PM EST

Bobby Scott, D-VA 3rd

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise against the underlying bill.

Mr. Chairman, we have heard a lot about job growth. We just want to remind people that our economy has experienced job growth in excess of 200,000 for 11 consecutive months, a record that hadn't been seen since the Clinton administration, and 58 consecutive months of private sector job growth, a string that hasn't been seen in recorded history.

So, continued economic growth and strong regulatory protections are not mutually exclusive. In fact, regulations are often necessary to protect the investments the American taxpayer makes in our economy and to ensure stability, order, and safety inside and outside of the workplace.

Unfortunately, this legislation will impose unnecessary burdens and delays on agencies seeking to issue or improve rules and regulations, burdensome delays that can threaten taxpayer dollars and the lives and health of workers.

Mr. Chairman, I offered two amendments that would have improved the bill, but neither was accepted by the Rules Committee. The first would have insured that inspector general recommendations would not be subject to the potentially dangerous delays and extra hurdles found in the bill.

Inspectors general are taxpayers' independent watchdogs who investigate and seek out problems and inefficiencies in our government. For example, two alarming audits issued last year by the Department of Education's inspector general found that criminal fraud rings were preying on money available through distance learning programs and that expensive, bank-sponsored debit cards were used to perpetuate waste, fraud, and abuse in the financial aid program.

Fortunately, in both of these situations the inspector general urged the Department of Education to quickly issue new rules to ensure that billions of dollars aren't wasted.

Unfortunately, without my amendment, this bill would deeply impair the ability of the Department of Education and other agencies to address similar known abuses of taxpayers' funds.

Delays in inspector general recommendations can also threaten the [Page: H253]

lives and health of workers. For example, the Department of Labor's inspector general found that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had a regulatory gap that allowed mine operators who habitually violated mine safety standards to easily avoid sanctions and continue to operate unsafe mines.

The unfortunate consequence of these loopholes was seen at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where 29 mine workers were killed in the largest coal mine disaster in the United States in 40 years.

Following that disaster, the inspector general recommended fixes that would close these loopholes, and the administration quickly adopted new regulations that are estimated to prevent about 1,800 miner injuries every 10 years. Had this bill been in effect, these regulations might not have ever been adopted in a timely manner.

My second amendment, Mr. Chairman, would have also strengthened protections of workers' health and safety. The amendment would have exempted regulations or guidance proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent health care workers from contracting infectious diseases.

As it stands, the legislation could possibly delay OSHA's workforce protections and make it far more difficult for OSHA to prevent health care workers from contracting lethal infectious diseases.

Under current regulations that govern OSHA's rulemaking, it takes OSHA an average of 7 years to issue standards, and this bill could add another 3 years, possibly delaying and essentially shutting down OSHA's ability to issue rules altogether.

Mr. Chairman, this legislation will seriously compromise the ability of agencies to protect both taxpayers and workers, so I urge my colleagues to oppose the legislation.

3:15 PM EST

Bobby Scott, D-VA 3rd

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise against the underlying bill.

Mr. Chairman, we have heard a lot about job growth. We just want to remind people that our economy has experienced job growth in excess of 200,000 for 11 consecutive months, a record that hadn't been seen since the Clinton administration, and 58 consecutive months of private sector job growth, a string that hasn't been seen in recorded history.

So, continued economic growth and strong regulatory protections are not mutually exclusive. In fact, regulations are often necessary to protect the investments the American taxpayer makes in our economy and to ensure stability, order, and safety inside and outside of the workplace.

Unfortunately, this legislation will impose unnecessary burdens and delays on agencies seeking to issue or improve rules and regulations, burdensome delays that can threaten taxpayer dollars and the lives and health of workers.

Mr. Chairman, I offered two amendments that would have improved the bill, but neither was accepted by the Rules Committee. The first would have insured that inspector general recommendations would not be subject to the potentially dangerous delays and extra hurdles found in the bill.

Inspectors general are taxpayers' independent watchdogs who investigate and seek out problems and inefficiencies in our government. For example, two alarming audits issued last year by the Department of Education's inspector general found that criminal fraud rings were preying on money available through distance learning programs and that expensive, bank-sponsored debit cards were used to perpetuate waste, fraud, and abuse in the financial aid program.

Fortunately, in both of these situations the inspector general urged the Department of Education to quickly issue new rules to ensure that billions of dollars aren't wasted.

Unfortunately, without my amendment, this bill would deeply impair the ability of the Department of Education and other agencies to address similar known abuses of taxpayers' funds.

Delays in inspector general recommendations can also threaten the [Page: H253]

lives and health of workers. For example, the Department of Labor's inspector general found that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had a regulatory gap that allowed mine operators who habitually violated mine safety standards to easily avoid sanctions and continue to operate unsafe mines.

The unfortunate consequence of these loopholes was seen at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where 29 mine workers were killed in the largest coal mine disaster in the United States in 40 years.

Following that disaster, the inspector general recommended fixes that would close these loopholes, and the administration quickly adopted new regulations that are estimated to prevent about 1,800 miner injuries every 10 years. Had this bill been in effect, these regulations might not have ever been adopted in a timely manner.

My second amendment, Mr. Chairman, would have also strengthened protections of workers' health and safety. The amendment would have exempted regulations or guidance proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent health care workers from contracting infectious diseases.

As it stands, the legislation could possibly delay OSHA's workforce protections and make it far more difficult for OSHA to prevent health care workers from contracting lethal infectious diseases.

Under current regulations that govern OSHA's rulemaking, it takes OSHA an average of 7 years to issue standards, and this bill could add another 3 years, possibly delaying and essentially shutting down OSHA's ability to issue rules altogether.

Mr. Chairman, this legislation will seriously compromise the ability of agencies to protect both taxpayers and workers, so I urge my colleagues to oppose the legislation.

3:20 PM EST

Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA 3rd

Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Regulatory Accountability Act. It is funny to me to stay here and listen to claims that the sky is going to fall if we just bring some common sense into how our Federal agencies promulgate rules. I want to ask, really?

Let me show you something. What I have in my hand is the Federal Register. It is not the Federal Register for the year or for a number of months. This is the Federal Register and the rules that have been promulgated just for this first week of January, just a week.

See, this first one here is for January 2. It is a little slim, but you know, they had just gotten back in the office.

This second one right here, this is for January 6, so I think they are making up for it.

This is just for the rest of the week. And believe it or not, that is actually a small stack compared to what happens when the juices really get flowing.

Now, here is the challenge with this stack. My challenge is, say I have a small business--and I do, actually. There are several small businesses in Lewis County, for example. It is a small area compared to the State of Washington, and they have got a lot of rural folks who work very hard, whether it is farms or family-owned businesses that they have been passing down.

Now, that small business in Centralia, they are responsible to know what is in this and the ones that come every single day after it for the entire year.

Mr. Chairman, we are not talking about big corporations with legal departments and government affairs folks who are hired to comb through this. We are talking about mom-and-pop shops. We are talking about 50 people or less. They have to dedicate a whole employee to knowing what is in here or they could be in violation of a Federal rule.

I have heard it said that you are 400 times more likely to come into contravention or violation of a Federal rule than a Federal law. So actually, it doesn't just apply to small businesses. It applies to all of us. We better know what is in here.

Or, time out: we could just create a little bit of space for some common sense, and that is exactly what this bill does.

This bill says, hey, Federal agencies, you just have to take a few extra things into account, like the impacts on the economy, like the impacts on the cost for taxpayers. Do you know we are talking about $1.86 trillion on the U.S. economy every year?

That is about $15,000 per every American household.

That is real money. Fifteen, grand is a lot of money. That could provide a family of four in Castle Rock with groceries for 62 weeks.

Mr. Chairman, we are not trying to bring down this Federal bureaucracy, although some would appreciate it if we did. We are simply trying to bring some common sense into how they operate.

Look, the Regulatory Accountability Act delivers the reform that will make lives better for hardworking Americans and, hopefully, it will help them begin to recover a little bit of that $15,000 they are spending on unnecessary regulations. We can do this, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

3:20 PM EST

Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA 3rd

Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Regulatory Accountability Act. It is funny to me to stay here and listen to claims that the sky is going to fall if we just bring some common sense into how our Federal agencies promulgate rules. I want to ask, really?

Let me show you something. What I have in my hand is the Federal Register. It is not the Federal Register for the year or for a number of months. This is the Federal Register and the rules that have been promulgated just for this first week of January, just a week.

See, this first one here is for January 2. It is a little slim, but you know, they had just gotten back in the office.

This second one right here, this is for January 6, so I think they are making up for it.

This is just for the rest of the week. And believe it or not, that is actually a small stack compared to what happens when the juices really get flowing.

Now, here is the challenge with this stack. My challenge is, say I have a small business--and I do, actually. There are several small businesses in Lewis County, for example. It is a small area compared to the State of Washington, and they have got a lot of rural folks who work very hard, whether it is farms or family-owned businesses that they have been passing down.

Now, that small business in Centralia, they are responsible to know what is in this and the ones that come every single day after it for the entire year.

Mr. Chairman, we are not talking about big corporations with legal departments and government affairs folks who are hired to comb through this. We are talking about mom-and-pop shops. We are talking about 50 people or less. They have to dedicate a whole employee to knowing what is in here or they could be in violation of a Federal rule.

I have heard it said that you are 400 times more likely to come into contravention or violation of a Federal rule than a Federal law. So actually, it doesn't just apply to small businesses. It applies to all of us. We better know what is in here.

Or, time out: we could just create a little bit of space for some common sense, and that is exactly what this bill does.

This bill says, hey, Federal agencies, you just have to take a few extra things into account, like the impacts on the economy, like the impacts on the cost for taxpayers. Do you know we are talking about $1.86 trillion on the U.S. economy every year?

That is about $15,000 per every American household.

That is real money. Fifteen, grand is a lot of money. That could provide a family of four in Castle Rock with groceries for 62 weeks.

Mr. Chairman, we are not trying to bring down this Federal bureaucracy, although some would appreciate it if we did. We are simply trying to bring some common sense into how they operate.

Look, the Regulatory Accountability Act delivers the reform that will make lives better for hardworking Americans and, hopefully, it will help them begin to recover a little bit of that $15,000 they are spending on unnecessary regulations. We can do this, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

3:23 PM EST

Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA 3rd

Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. I thank the gentleman.

I believe this is what people need to understand. The bill is very simple. It leaves intact and supports consumer protections and reasonable environmental impacts. It doesn't jeopardize the health of our kids.

Come on. Let's use some common sense. It simply makes it easier for that family of four. It really does try and connect the Federal regulations with real lives of real Americans, and that is why this act is so important.

That is why it is bipartisan, Mr. Speaker. This isn't some extreme idea. This is something that brings good government to the people. We are trying to serve the people, not be their masters, and I think this bill does just that.

3:24 PM EST

Raul Grijalva, D-AZ 3rd

Mr. GRIJALVA. I thank the ranking member for yielding the time.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, a bill that puts us all in danger by making it harder for Federal regulators to do their job.

This bill would delay regulations that prevent big banks from gambling with our economy. Just as seriously, it would weaken the implementation of laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act that protect our environment, natural resources, and the public health of the American people.

Supporters of this bill tell us that regulations impose huge costs and prevent economic growth. As other speakers have noted, these claims are not just untrue, they are fabrications.

Choosing not to regulate polluting industries doesn't save taxpayers money. When we fail to prevent pollution, we impose more costs on the public. Allowing unchecked emissions from coal-fired power plants, for example, would mean more mercury and smog polluting our air and water, causing respiratory ailments and premature death.

To see what happens when a government chooses to allow polluters to have their way, one need only to look at China. By burning coal without adequate air quality regulations, China caused an additional 670,000 deaths in 2012 alone, this according to a recent study by the National Resources Defense Council.

The failure to regulate is causing a massive drag at this time on the Chinese economy. This bill leads us down the same path. The Chinese model of economic growth at the expense of public health and the environment is not sustainable and does not represent American values.

We have laws on the books today mandating environmental conservation and natural resource management through regulation. This bill does not repeal those laws, which have been a major benefit to the Nation, to the American people since they were enacted. Today's bill just makes their implementation less efficient, more costly, more time-consuming to the very industries it is allegedly trying to help.

If this bill were to become law, annual regulations needed to open a fishery or establish fishing industry catch levels would be endlessly delayed. [Page: H254]

If this bill were to pass, it would delay the Forest Service regulations needed to allow thinning projects and increase the potential for costly and deadly wildfires throughout the West. Each year, new fire seasons seem to break the record for financial costs and acres burned. This bill, if enacted, would make that cycle worse.

The bill fails to appropriate any new money to the agencies facing these unnecessary, burdensome requirements. Instead, agencies like NOAA and the Department of the Interior will be forced to divert existing resources to develop and implement the regulations needed to fulfill this new congressional mandate.

The results? For example, permits for energy development on Federal lands, currently at an all-time high, will be delayed, as will be permits for other activities.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

3:24 PM EST

Raul Grijalva, D-AZ 3rd

Mr. GRIJALVA. I thank the ranking member for yielding the time.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, a bill that puts us all in danger by making it harder for Federal regulators to do their job.

This bill would delay regulations that prevent big banks from gambling with our economy. Just as seriously, it would weaken the implementation of laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act that protect our environment, natural resources, and the public health of the American people.

Supporters of this bill tell us that regulations impose huge costs and prevent economic growth. As other speakers have noted, these claims are not just untrue, they are fabrications.

Choosing not to regulate polluting industries doesn't save taxpayers money. When we fail to prevent pollution, we impose more costs on the public. Allowing unchecked emissions from coal-fired power plants, for example, would mean more mercury and smog polluting our air and water, causing respiratory ailments and premature death.

To see what happens when a government chooses to allow polluters to have their way, one need only to look at China. By burning coal without adequate air quality regulations, China caused an additional 670,000 deaths in 2012 alone, this according to a recent study by the National Resources Defense Council.

The failure to regulate is causing a massive drag at this time on the Chinese economy. This bill leads us down the same path. The Chinese model of economic growth at the expense of public health and the environment is not sustainable and does not represent American values.

We have laws on the books today mandating environmental conservation and natural resource management through regulation. This bill does not repeal those laws, which have been a major benefit to the Nation, to the American people since they were enacted. Today's bill just makes their implementation less efficient, more costly, more time-consuming to the very industries it is allegedly trying to help.

If this bill were to become law, annual regulations needed to open a fishery or establish fishing industry catch levels would be endlessly delayed. [Page: H254]

If this bill were to pass, it would delay the Forest Service regulations needed to allow thinning projects and increase the potential for costly and deadly wildfires throughout the West. Each year, new fire seasons seem to break the record for financial costs and acres burned. This bill, if enacted, would make that cycle worse.

The bill fails to appropriate any new money to the agencies facing these unnecessary, burdensome requirements. Instead, agencies like NOAA and the Department of the Interior will be forced to divert existing resources to develop and implement the regulations needed to fulfill this new congressional mandate.

The results? For example, permits for energy development on Federal lands, currently at an all-time high, will be delayed, as will be permits for other activities.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

3:28 PM EST

Raul Grijalva, D-AZ 3rd

Mr. GRIJALVA. This is not about making government more efficient. It is about making it impossible for many government agencies to do their jobs on behalf of the American people. In the name of regulatory reform, Republicans are intentionally cutting off the people who oversee our lands and waters at their knees.

Those who claim that this bill is a good idea ignore China's example at their own peril. Federal agencies trying to keep us safe cannot do more with less. Instead of placing more burdens on Federal agencies, we should provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs better and faster and protect the American people.

For all these reasons, I urge opposition to H.R. 185.

3:28 PM EST

Raul Grijalva, D-AZ 3rd

Mr. GRIJALVA. This is not about making government more efficient. It is about making it impossible for many government agencies to do their jobs on behalf of the American people. In the name of regulatory reform, Republicans are intentionally cutting off the people who oversee our lands and waters at their knees.

Those who claim that this bill is a good idea ignore China's example at their own peril. Federal agencies trying to keep us safe cannot do more with less. Instead of placing more burdens on Federal agencies, we should provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs better and faster and protect the American people.

For all these reasons, I urge opposition to H.R. 185.

3:29 PM EST

Keith J. Rothfus, R-PA 12th

Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Chairman, the Obama administration released 300 new rules and regulations in the first 7 days of 2015. This is on top of over 3,500 new rules and regulations the administration created last year.

We have got a problem in our country. Unelected regulators in Washington, D.C., are out of control. From your mortgage to your health care plan to your child's lunchroom, and even your own backyard, the regulatory arms of this Capital are encroaching every facet of American life.

[Time: 15:30]

Agencies are churning out hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations, many of which have a substantial effect on particular communities and industries across western Pennsylvania. Washington's central planners are regulating solid, good-paying jobs right out of existence.

The legislation under consideration includes a provision I offered in the last Congress with my friend Mr. Barr of Kentucky. Our provision simply says that if a regulation decreases employment or wages by 1 percent or more in an industry, it will be subjected to heightened review and transparency requirements.

The principle is simple: if bureaucrats implement rules that harm Americans' wages or jobs, they must take responsibility for it.

I am proud to support the bill, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 185 and in holding Federal agencies accountable.

3:29 PM EST

Keith J. Rothfus, R-PA 12th

Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Chairman, the Obama administration released 300 new rules and regulations in the first 7 days of 2015. This is on top of over 3,500 new rules and regulations the administration created last year.

We have got a problem in our country. Unelected regulators in Washington, D.C., are out of control. From your mortgage to your health care plan to your child's lunchroom, and even your own backyard, the regulatory arms of this Capital are encroaching every facet of American life.

[Time: 15:30]

Agencies are churning out hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations, many of which have a substantial effect on particular communities and industries across western Pennsylvania. Washington's central planners are regulating solid, good-paying jobs right out of existence.

The legislation under consideration includes a provision I offered in the last Congress with my friend Mr. Barr of Kentucky. Our provision simply says that if a regulation decreases employment or wages by 1 percent or more in an industry, it will be subjected to heightened review and transparency requirements.

The principle is simple: if bureaucrats implement rules that harm Americans' wages or jobs, they must take responsibility for it.

I am proud to support the bill, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 185 and in holding Federal agencies accountable.

3:31 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I notice that my friends on the other side have not named one person, academic scholar, or organization that supports this measure. I would now like to identify the letters that we have received on our side that have been very critical--very disturbed--by the gross approach of the authors of this measure.

Supporting us and opposing the bill is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The AFL-CIO is opposed to this measure. The American Bar Association is opposed. The Americans for Financial Reform is opposed.

The Center for Effective Government is opposed. The Center for Progressive Reform is opposed. The Center for Responsible Lending is opposed. The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, representing more than 70 national consumer, public interest, labor, and environmental organizations and more than 80 State and local organizations and affiliates is opposed.

The Consumer Federation of America is opposed. The Consumers Union is opposed to this measure. The Natural Resources Defense Council does not support this measure. Public Citizen is opposed to this. United Steelworkers is opposed. The Union of Concerned Scientists is opposed. The United States PIRG, which is the Public Interest Research Group, is opposed.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think that our case against this measure has been well-made.

I reserve the balance of my time.

3:31 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I notice that my friends on the other side have not named one person, academic scholar, or organization that supports this measure. I would now like to identify the letters that we have received on our side that have been very critical--very disturbed--by the gross approach of the authors of this measure.

Supporting us and opposing the bill is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The AFL-CIO is opposed to this measure. The American Bar Association is opposed. The Americans for Financial Reform is opposed.

The Center for Effective Government is opposed. The Center for Progressive Reform is opposed. The Center for Responsible Lending is opposed. The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, representing more than 70 national consumer, public interest, labor, and environmental organizations and more than 80 State and local organizations and affiliates is opposed.

The Consumer Federation of America is opposed. The Consumers Union is opposed to this measure. The Natural Resources Defense Council does not support this measure. Public Citizen is opposed to this. United Steelworkers is opposed. The Union of Concerned Scientists is opposed. The United States PIRG, which is the Public Interest Research Group, is opposed.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think that our case against this measure has been well-made.

I reserve the balance of my time.

3:33 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I am pleased that my colleague from Michigan has raised the issue of support for this legislation because there is a lot of it. I have in front of me a list of 156 organizations that support this legislation. They cover a wide array of organizations, of groups, of businesses, of small business associations, and of chambers of commerce.

I will name just a few: the 60 Plus Association, the Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association, the Aggregate and Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the American Chemistry Council, the American Coatings Association, the American Composites Manufacturers Association, the American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Council of Independent Laboratories, the American Exploration

& Mining Association, the American Forest & Paper Association, the American Foundry Society, the American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition, the American Highway Users Alliance, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the American Loggers

Council, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the American Subcontractors Association, the American Supply Association, the American Trucking Associations, the American Wholesale Marketers Association, the American Wood Council.

We haven't even gotten all the way through the A's on this list which covers, as I say, a wide array of organizations that is interested in manufacturing good-quality products for Americans and in providing services, like architectural services and others. I want to make sure that everyone understands that there is broad-based support for this.

I also want to correct a misimpression left by some of the speakers on the other side who have pointed to a study that we have not relied upon for the basis of this legislation. I want to call to everyone's attention--in fact, at the appropriate time, I will request that it may be made a part of the RECORD--a study from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, CEI, entitled--not the 10 Commandments, which we are all familiar with--but ``Ten Thousand Commandments, An Annual Snapshot of the

Federal Regulatory State,'' by Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., which has provided valuable information with regard to this.

Another thing people have said is, Oh, this is going to add a tremendous burden to the regulators when they write these regulations.

I can tell you we don't have 160 different organizations supporting this legislation because they think their regulatory burden is too low; they think the burden is too high and that not enough energy and effort is going in on the part of those regulators to pay attention to what they are doing when they write regulations.

They have complained about the new things that this bill requires, and let me just read a few of them to you.

It requires documentation that the agency has considered the specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule .....

It seems to make pretty good common sense that, if you are going to write a regulation, you should be studying and understanding the nature of the problem you are supposed to be addressing with the regulation.

..... documentation that the agency has considered whether existing rules could be [Page: H255]

In other words, they may not need to do anything.

..... documentation that the agency has considered the potential direct costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses; documentation that the agency has estimated impacts on jobs that are associated with potential alternative rules and other responses.

The requirements are like that throughout, and they are commonsense reforms. In fact, they are so common sense that many of these were initiated by President Reagan, and many of these have been carried forward by subsequent administrations, including the current administration.

What we are asking for today is don't hide the ball on the American people when you write regulations. Provide the documentation of how you wrote the

regulation, what you considered when you wrote the regulation, whether or not that regulation is the most cost-effective way to do it, and whether or not the regulation is even needed at all. These are commonsense reforms, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

3:33 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I am pleased that my colleague from Michigan has raised the issue of support for this legislation because there is a lot of it. I have in front of me a list of 156 organizations that support this legislation. They cover a wide array of organizations, of groups, of businesses, of small business associations, and of chambers of commerce.

I will name just a few: the 60 Plus Association, the Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association, the Aggregate and Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the American Chemistry Council, the American Coatings Association, the American Composites Manufacturers Association, the American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Council of Independent Laboratories, the American Exploration

& Mining Association, the American Forest & Paper Association, the American Foundry Society, the American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition, the American Highway Users Alliance, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the American Loggers

Council, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the American Subcontractors Association, the American Supply Association, the American Trucking Associations, the American Wholesale Marketers Association, the American Wood Council.

We haven't even gotten all the way through the A's on this list which covers, as I say, a wide array of organizations that is interested in manufacturing good-quality products for Americans and in providing services, like architectural services and others. I want to make sure that everyone understands that there is broad-based support for this.

I also want to correct a misimpression left by some of the speakers on the other side who have pointed to a study that we have not relied upon for the basis of this legislation. I want to call to everyone's attention--in fact, at the appropriate time, I will request that it may be made a part of the RECORD--a study from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, CEI, entitled--not the 10 Commandments, which we are all familiar with--but ``Ten Thousand Commandments, An Annual Snapshot of the

Federal Regulatory State,'' by Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., which has provided valuable information with regard to this.

Another thing people have said is, Oh, this is going to add a tremendous burden to the regulators when they write these regulations.

I can tell you we don't have 160 different organizations supporting this legislation because they think their regulatory burden is too low; they think the burden is too high and that not enough energy and effort is going in on the part of those regulators to pay attention to what they are doing when they write regulations.

They have complained about the new things that this bill requires, and let me just read a few of them to you.

It requires documentation that the agency has considered the specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule .....

It seems to make pretty good common sense that, if you are going to write a regulation, you should be studying and understanding the nature of the problem you are supposed to be addressing with the regulation.

..... documentation that the agency has considered whether existing rules could be [Page: H255]

In other words, they may not need to do anything.

..... documentation that the agency has considered the potential direct costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses; documentation that the agency has estimated impacts on jobs that are associated with potential alternative rules and other responses.

The requirements are like that throughout, and they are commonsense reforms. In fact, they are so common sense that many of these were initiated by President Reagan, and many of these have been carried forward by subsequent administrations, including the current administration.

What we are asking for today is don't hide the ball on the American people when you write regulations. Provide the documentation of how you wrote the

regulation, what you considered when you wrote the regulation, whether or not that regulation is the most cost-effective way to do it, and whether or not the regulation is even needed at all. These are commonsense reforms, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

3:38 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Ladies and gentlemen of the House, last evening, the President of the United States indicated that he will not sign this bill, that he will veto it if it were to pass, and I am hoping that that doesn't happen.

The measure fails in a great way. It would create needless regulatory and legal uncertainty and would further impede the implementation protections for the American public.

This bill would make the regulatory process more expensive, less flexible, and more burdensome, dramatically increasing the costs of regulation of the American taxpayer and working class families.

This is an incredible situation that we have to debate here. I am hopeful that the logic, the rationale, the threat of the executive branch to veto the bill will all cause us to carefully consider how unnecessary this measure is. I urge that we not support H.R. 185.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:38 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Ladies and gentlemen of the House, last evening, the President of the United States indicated that he will not sign this bill, that he will veto it if it were to pass, and I am hoping that that doesn't happen.

The measure fails in a great way. It would create needless regulatory and legal uncertainty and would further impede the implementation protections for the American public.

This bill would make the regulatory process more expensive, less flexible, and more burdensome, dramatically increasing the costs of regulation of the American taxpayer and working class families.

This is an incredible situation that we have to debate here. I am hopeful that the logic, the rationale, the threat of the executive branch to veto the bill will all cause us to carefully consider how unnecessary this measure is. I urge that we not support H.R. 185.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:40 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Farenthold), the vice chairman of the Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law Subcommittee.

3:40 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time and urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation which will help to rein in the excessive power of the executive branch of the Federal Government and provide for common sense being brought to the writing of Federal Government regulations, saving American taxpayers and consumers billions if not trillions of dollars. It is badly needed. It is long overdue.

I urge my colleagues to support the legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State 2014 Edition

COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY(By Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.)

In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported outlays for fiscal year (FY) 2013 of $3.454 trillion and projected spending for FY 2014 at $3.543 trillion. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's federal budget proposal for FY 2015 seeks $3.901 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. In the previous fiscal year, the president had proposed outlays of $3.778 trillion. Despite high debt and deficits, we have been unable to avoid entering the era of $4 trillion

in annual spending.

We experienced trillion dollar deficits between 2009 and 2012, and CBO projects that deficits will exceed $1 trillion again by FY 2022. Trillion dollar deficits were once unimaginable. Such sums signified the level of budgets themselves, not of shortfalls. Yet at no point is spending projected to balance in the coming decade. President Obama's 2015 budget projects deficits that are smaller than recent heights--with 2014's claimed $649 billion to fall to $413 billion in 2018--before heading back

into the CBO-predicted stratosphere.

Many other countries' government outlays make up a greater share of their national output, compared with 20 percent for the U.S. government, but in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest government on the planet. Only four other nations top $1 trillion in annual government revenues, and none but the United States collects more than $2 trillion.

REGULATION: THE HIDDEN TAX

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government's reach extends well beyond Washington's taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions--perhaps trillions--of dollars annually in addition to the official federal outlays that dominate policy debate.

Firms generally pass the costs of some taxes along to consumers. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices that consumers pay and out of the wages workers [Page: H256]

earn. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist about scores of regulations and about the agencies that issue them, as well

as data about estimates of regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That compilation is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, highlights of which follow:

Among the five all-time-high Federal Register page counts, four have occurred under President Obama.

The annual outflow of more than 3,500 final rules--sometimes far above that level--means that 87,282 rules have been issued since 1993.

There were 51 rules for every law in 2013. The ``Unconstitutionality Index,'' the ratio of regulations issued by agencies to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president, stood at 51 for 2013. Specifically, 72 laws were passed in calendar year 2013, whereas 3,659 rules were issued. This disparity highlights the excessive delegation of lawmaking power to unelected agency officials.

This author's working paper, ``Tip of the Costberg,'' which is largely based on federal government data, estimates regulatory compliance and economic impacts at $1.863 trillion nnually.

U.S. households ``pay'' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax, thereby ``absorbing'' 23 percent of the average income of $65,596, and ``pay'' 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. The ``tax'' exceeds every item in the budget except housing. More is ``spent'' on embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel and services, and savings.

The estimated cost of regulation exceeds half the level of the federal budget itself. Regulatory costs of $1.863 trillion amount to 11.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which was estimated at $16.797 trillion in 2013 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

When regulatory costs are combined with federal FY 2013 outlays of $3.454 trillion, the federal government's share of the entire economy now reaches 31 percent. The regulatory ``hidden tax'' surpasses the income tax. Regulatory compliance costs exceed the 2013 estimated total individual income tax revenues of $1.234 trillion.

Regulatory compliance costs vastly exceed the 2013 estimated corporate income tax revenues of $288 billion and approach corporate pretax profits of $2.19 trillion.

If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the 10th largest economy, ranked between India and Italy.

U.S. regulatory costs exceed the GDPs of Australia and Canada, the highest-income nations among the countries ranked most free in the annual Index of Economic Freedom and Economic Freedom of the World reports.

The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., jointly estimate that agencies spent $57.3 billion (on budget) to administer and police the federal regulatory enterprise. Adding the $1.863 trillion in off-budget compliance costs brings the total regulatory enterprise to $1.92 trillion.

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest level in history.

Federal Register pages devoted specifically to final rules rose to a record high of 26,417.

The 2013 Federal Register contained 3,659 final rules and 2,594 proposed rules.

Since the nation's founding, more than 15,177 executive orders have been issued. President Obama issued 181 as of the end of 2013.

President George W Bush averaged 63 major rules annually during his eight years in office; Obama's five years so far have averaged 81.

Although there are over 3,500 rules annually, public notices in the Federal Register exceed 24,000 annually, with uncounted ``guidance documents'' among them. There were 24,261 notices in 2013 and 477,929 since 1995.

According to the fall 2013 ``Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions'' (which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation), 63 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,305 regulations at various stages of implementation.

Of the 3,305 regulations in the pipeline, 191 are ``economically significant'' rules, which the federal government defines as imposing at least $100 million in annual costs. Assuming that those rulemakings are primarily regulatory implies roughly $19 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

Of the 3,305 regulations now in the works, 669 affect small businesses. Of those, 391 required a regulatory flexibility analysis: 278 were otherwise noted by agencies to affect small businesses.

The five most active rule-producing agencies--the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, and Health and Human Services--account for 1,451 rules, or 44 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was formerly consistently in the top five, is now sixth, but adding its 179 rules brings the total from the top six rulemaking agencies to 1,630 rules, or 49.3 percent of all federal rules.

The most recent Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation of the overall U.S. federal regulatory enterprise estimated annual regulatory compliance costs of $1.752 trillion in 2008. Earlier SBA reports pegged costs at $1.1 trillion in 2005 and at $843 billion in 2001. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) agreed with those figures at the time. Meanwhile, a subset of 115 selected major rules reviewed during 2002-2012 by the OMB notes cumulative annual costs of between $57 billion and $84

billion.

The short-lived series of budget surpluses from 1998 to 2001--the first since 1969--seems like ancient history in today's debt and deficit-drenched policy setting, as the CBO projects annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decade. When it comes to stimulating a limping economy, reducing deficits and relieving regulatory burdens are key to the nation's economic health. Otherwise, budgetary pressures can incentivize lawmakers to impose off-budget regulations on the private

sector, rather than add to unpopular deficit spending. A new government program--for example, job training--would require either increasing government spending or imposing new regulations requiring such training. Unlike on-budget spending, the latter regulatory costs remain largely hidden from public view, which makes regulation increasingly attractive to lawmakers.

THE DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IMPERATIVES

Cost-benefit analysis at the agency level is already neglected; thus, at minimum, some third-party review is needed. Like federal spending, regulations and their costs should be tracked and disclosed annually. Then, periodic housecleaning should be performed.

A problem with cost-benefit analysis is that it largely relies on agency self-policing. Having agencies audit their own rules is like asking students to grade their own exams. Regulators are disinclined to emphasize when a rule's benefits do not justify the costs involved. In fact, one could expect new and dubious categories of benefits to emerge to justify an agency's rulemaking activity.

A major source of overregulation is the systematic overdelegation of rulemaking power to agencies. Requiring expedited votes on economically significant or controversial agency rules before they become binding would reestablish congressional accountability and would help affirm a principle of ``no regulation without representation.''

Openness about regulatory facts and figures can be bolstered through federal ``regulatory report cards,'' similar to the presentation in Ten Thousand Commandments. These could be officially issued each year to distill information for the public and policy makers about the scope of the regulatory state.

The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.

Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 185

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

Section 551 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (13), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (14), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(15) `major rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(16) `high-impact rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose an annual cost on the economy of $1,000,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(17) `negative-impact on jobs and wages rule' means any rule that the agency that made the rule or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to--

``(A) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(B) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, [Page: H257]

reduce average weekly wages for employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(C) in any industry area (as such term is defined in the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) in which the most recent annual unemployment rate for the industry area is greater than 5 percent, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Current Population Survey, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation; or

``(D) in any industry area in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in the Occupational Employment Statistics program that the employment level will decrease by 1 percent or more, further reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation;

``(18) `guidance' means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue;

``(19) `major guidance' means guidance that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finds is likely to lead to--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(20) the `Information Quality Act' means section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, and guidelines issued by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or other agencies pursuant to the Act; and

``(21) the `Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' means the office established under section 3503 of chapter 35 of title 44 and any successor to that office.''.

SEC. 3. RULE MAKING.

(a) Section 553(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking ``(a) This section applies'' and inserting ``(a) Applicability.--This section applies''.

(b) Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (b) through (e) and inserting the following:

``(b) Rule Making Considerations.--In a rule making, an agency shall make all preliminary and final factual determinations based on evidence and consider, in addition to other applicable considerations, the following:

``(1) The legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making.

``(2) Other statutory considerations applicable to whether the agency can or should propose a rule or undertake other agency action.

``(3) The specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule (including the degree and nature of risks the problem poses and the priority of addressing those risks compared to other matters or activities within the agency's jurisdiction), whether the problem warrants new agency action, and the countervailing risks that may be posed by alternatives for new agency action.

``(4) Whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency may address with a rule and whether those rules could be amended or rescinded to address the problem in whole or part.

``(5) Any reasonable alternatives for a new rule or other response identified by the agency or interested persons, including not only responses that mandate particular conduct or manners of compliance, but also--

``(A) the alternative of no Federal response;

``(B) amending or rescinding existing rules;

``(C) potential regional, State, local, or tribal regulatory action or other responses that could be taken in lieu of agency action; and

``(D) potential responses that--

``(i) specify performance objectives rather than conduct or manners of compliance;

``(ii) establish economic incentives to encourage desired behavior;

``(iii) provide information upon which choices can be made by the public; or

``(iv) incorporate other innovative alternatives rather than agency actions that specify conduct or manners of compliance.

``(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law--

``(A) the potential costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses considered under section 553(b)(5), including direct, indirect, and cumulative costs and benefits and estimated impacts on jobs (including an estimate of the net gain or loss in domestic jobs), wages, economic growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness;

``(B) means to increase the cost-effectiveness of any Federal response; and

``(C) incentives for innovation, consistency, predictability, lower costs of enforcement and compliance (to government entities, regulated entities, and the public), and flexibility.

``(c) Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Major Rules, High-Impact Rules, Negative-Impact on Jobs and Wages Rules, and Rules Involving Novel Legal or Policy Issues.--In the case of a rule making for a major rule, a high-impact rule, a negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, or a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, not later than 90 days before a notice of proposed rule making is published in the Federal Register, an agency shall

publish advance notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register. In publishing such advance notice, the agency shall--

``(1) include a written statement identifying, at a minimum--

``(A) the nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule, including data and other evidence and information on which the agency expects to rely for the proposed rule;

``(B) the legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making;

``(C) preliminary information available to the agency concerning the other considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(D) in the case of a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the nature of and potential reasons to adopt the novel legal or policy position upon which the agency may base a proposed rule; and

``(E) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(2) solicit written data, views or argument from interested persons concerning the information and issues addressed in the advance notice; and

``(3) provide for a period of not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit such written data, views, or argument to the agency.

``(d) Notices of Proposed Rule Making; Determinations of Other Agency Course.--(1) Before it determines to propose a rule, and following completion of procedures under subsection (c), if applicable, the agency shall consult with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. If the agency thereafter determines to propose a rule, the agency shall publish a notice of proposed rule making, which shall include--

``(A) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings;

``(B) reference to the legal authority under which the rule is proposed;

``(C) the terms of the proposed rule;

``(D) a description of information known to the agency on the subject and issues of the proposed rule, including but not limited to--

``(i) a summary of information known to the agency concerning the considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(ii) a summary of additional information the agency provided to and obtained from interested persons under subsection (c);

``(iii) a summary of any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis performed by the agency; and

``(iv) information specifically identifying all data, studies, models, and other evidence or information considered or used by the agency in connection with its determination to propose the rule;

``(E)(i) a reasoned preliminary determination of need for the rule based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(ii) an additional statement of whether a rule is required by statute; and

``(iii) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(F) a reasoned preliminary determination that the benefits of the proposed rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the costs of the proposed rule (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(G) a discussion of--

``(i) the alternatives to the proposed rule, and other alternative responses, considered by the agency under subsection (b);

``(ii) the costs and benefits of those alternatives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(iii) whether those alternatives meet relevant statutory objectives; and

``(iv) why the agency did not propose any of those alternatives; and

``(H)(i) a statement of whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the proposed rule; and

``(ii) if so, whether or not the agency proposes to amend or rescind any such rules, and why.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination to propose the rule, including any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information prepared or described by the agency under subparagraph (D) and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by [Page:

H258]

that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the proposed rule and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of proposed rule making is published.

``(2)(A) If the agency undertakes procedures under subsection (c) and determines thereafter not to propose a rule, the agency shall, following consultation with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish a notice of determination of other agency course. A notice of determination of other agency course shall include information required by paragraph (1)(D) to be included in a notice of proposed rule making and a description of the alternative response the agency determined to adopt.

``(B) If in its determination of other agency course the agency makes a determination to amend or rescind an existing rule, the agency need not undertake additional proceedings under subsection (c) before it publishes a notice of proposed rule making to amend or rescind the existing rule.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination of other agency course, including but not limited to any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information that would be required to be prepared or described by the agency under paragraph (1)(D) if the agency had determined to publish a notice of proposed rule making and, at the discretion of the President

or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the determination and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of determination is published.

``(3) After notice of proposed rule making required by this section, the agency shall provide interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except that--

``(A) if a hearing is required under paragraph (4)(B) or subsection (e), opportunity for oral presentation shall be provided pursuant to that requirement; or

``(B) when other than under subsection (e) of this section rules are required by statute or at the discretion of the agency to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, sections 556 and 557 shall apply, and paragraph (4), the requirements of subsection (e) to receive comment outside of the procedures of sections 556 and 557, and the petition procedures of subsection (e)(6) shall not apply.

The agency shall provide not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit written data, views, or argument (or 120 days in the case of a proposed major or high-impact rule).

``(4)(A) Within 30 days of publication of notice of proposed rule making, a member of the public may petition for a hearing in accordance with section 556 to determine whether any evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act.

``(B)(i) The agency may, upon review of the petition, determine without further process to exclude from the rule making the evidence or other information that is the subject of the petition and, if appropriate, withdraw the proposed rule. The agency shall promptly publish any such determination.

``(ii) If the agency does not resolve the petition under the procedures of clause (i), it shall grant any such petition that presents a prima facie case that evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act, hold the requested hearing not later than 30 days after receipt of the petition, provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at the hearing, and decide the issues presented by the petition not later than

60 days after receipt of the petition. The agency may deny any petition that it determines does not present such a prima facie case.

``(C) There shall be no judicial review of the agency's disposition of issues considered and decided or determined under subparagraph (B)(ii) until judicial review of the agency's final action. There shall be no judicial review of an agency's determination to withdraw a proposed rule under subparagraph (B)(i) on the basis of the petition.

``(D) Failure to petition for a hearing under this paragraph shall not preclude judicial review of any claim based on the Information Quality Act under chapter 7 of this title.

``(e) Hearings for High-Impact Rules.--Following notice of a proposed rule making, receipt of comments on the proposed rule, and any hearing held under subsection (d)(4), and before adoption of any high-impact rule, the agency shall hold a hearing in accordance with sections 556 and 557, unless such hearing is waived by all participants in the rule making other than the agency. The agency shall provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at such hearing. The hearing shall

be limited to the following issues of fact, except that participants at the hearing other than the agency may waive determination of any such issue:

``(1) Whether the agency's asserted factual predicate for the rule is supported by the evidence.

``(2) Whether there is an alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the proposed rule.

``(3) If there is more than one alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost than the proposed rule, which alternative would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at the lowest cost.

``(4) Whether, if the agency proposes to adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), the additional benefits of the more costly rule exceed the additional costs of the more costly rule.

``(5) Whether the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule meets the requirements of the Information Quality Act.

``(6) Upon petition by an interested person who has participated in the rule making, other issues relevant to the rule making, unless the agency determines that consideration of the issues at the hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the nature of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. An agency shall grant or deny a petition under this paragraph within 30 days of its receipt of the petition.

No later than 45 days before any hearing held under this subsection or sections 556 and 557, the agency shall publish in the Federal Register a notice specifying the proposed rule to be considered at such hearing, the issues to be considered at the hearing, and the time and place for such hearing, except that such notice may be issued not later than 15 days before a hearing held under subsection (d)(4)(B).

``(f) Final Rules.--(1) The agency shall adopt a rule only following consultation with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to facilitate compliance with applicable rule making requirements.

``(2) The agency shall adopt a rule only on the basis of the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other evidence and information concerning the need for, consequences of, and alternatives to the rule.

``(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the agency shall adopt the least costly rule considered during the rule making (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) that meets relevant statutory objectives.

``(B) The agency may adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives only if the additional benefits of the more costly rule justify its additional costs and only if the agency explains its reason for doing so based on interests of public health, safety or welfare that are clearly within the scope of the statutory provision authorizing the rule.

``(4) When it adopts a final rule, the agency shall publish a notice of final rule making. The notice shall include--

``(A) a concise, general statement of the rule's basis and purpose;

``(B) the agency's reasoned final determination of need for a rule to address the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, including a statement of whether a rule is required by statute and a summary of any final risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency;

``(C) the agency's reasoned final determination that the benefits of the rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the rule's costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(D) the agency's reasoned final determination not to adopt any of the alternatives to the proposed rule considered by the agency during the rule making, including--

``(i) the agency's reasoned final determination that no alternative considered achieved the relevant statutory objectives with lower costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the rule; or

``(ii) the agency's reasoned determination that its adoption of a more costly rule complies with subsection (f)(3)(B);

``(E) the agency's reasoned final determination--

``(i) that existing rules have not created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule; or

``(ii) that existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, and, if so--

``(I) why amendment or rescission of such existing rules is not alone sufficient to respond to the problem; and

``(II) whether and how the agency intends to amend or rescind the existing rule separate from adoption of the rule;

``(F) the agency's reasoned final determination that the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the rule complies with the Information Quality Act;

``(G) the agency's reasoned final determination that the rule meets the objectives that the agency identified in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other objectives are more appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the rule meets those objectives;

``(H) the agency's reasoned final determination that it did not deviate from the metrics the agency included in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other metrics are more [Page: H259]

appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the agency did not deviate from those metrics;

``(I)(i) for any major rule, high-impact rule, or negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, the agency's plan for review of the rule no less than every ten years to determine whether, based upon evidence, there remains a need for the rule, whether the rule is in fact achieving statutory objectives, whether the rule's benefits continue to justify its costs, and whether the rule can be modified or rescinded to reduce costs while continuing to achieve statutory objectives; and

``(ii) review of a rule under a plan required by clause (i) of this subparagraph shall take into account the factors and criteria set forth in subsections (b) through (f) of section 553 of this title; and

``(J) for any negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, a statement that the head of the agency that made the rule approved the rule knowing about the findings and determination of the agency or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that qualified the rule as a negative impact on jobs and wages rule.

All information considered by the agency in connection with its adoption of the rule, and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the rule and made accessible to the public for the public's use no later than when the rule is adopted.

``(g) Exceptions From Notice and Hearing Requirements.--(1) Except when notice or hearing is required by statute, the following do not apply to interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice:

``(A) Subsections (c) through (e).

``(B) Paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (f).

``(C) Subparagraphs (B) through (H) of subsection (f)(4).

``(2)(A) When the agency for good cause, based upon evidence, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section before the issuance of an interim rule is impracticable or contrary to the public interest, including interests of national security, such subsections or requirements to render final determinations shall

not apply to the agency's adoption of an interim rule.

``(B) If, following compliance with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the agency adopts an interim rule, it shall commence proceedings that comply fully with subsections (d) through (f) of this section immediately upon publication of the interim rule, shall treat the publication of the interim rule as publication of a notice of proposed rule making and shall not be required to issue supplemental notice other than to complete full compliance with subsection (d). No less than 270 days from publication

of the interim rule (or 18 months in the case of a major rule or high-impact rule), the agency shall complete rule making under subsections (d) through (f) of this subsection and take final action to adopt a final rule or rescind the interim rule. If the agency fails to take timely final action, the interim rule will cease to have the effect of law.

``(C) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under chapter 7 of this title of the agency's determination to adopt such interim rule. The record on such review shall include all documents and information considered by the agency and

any additional information presented by a party that the court determines necessary to consider to assure justice.

``(3) When the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are unnecessary, including because agency rule making is undertaken only to correct a de minimis technical or clerical error in a previously issued rule or for other noncontroversial purposes, the agency may publish a rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), (e), or (f)(1)-(3) and (f)(4)(B)-(F). If the agency

receives significant adverse comment within 60 days after publication of the rule, it shall treat the notice of the rule as a notice of proposed rule making and complete rule making in compliance with subsections (d) and (f).

``(h) Additional Requirements for Hearings.--When a hearing is required under subsection (e) or is otherwise required by statute or at the agency's discretion before adoption of a rule, the agency shall comply with the requirements of sections 556 and 557 in addition to the requirements of subsection (f) in adopting the rule and in providing notice of the rule's adoption.

``(i) Date of Publication of Rule.--The required publication or service of a substantive final or interim rule shall be made not less than 30 days before the effective date of the rule, except--

``(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;

``(2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or

``(3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

``(j) Right To Petition.--Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

``(k) Rule Making Guidelines.--(1)(A) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall establish guidelines for the assessment, including quantitative and qualitative assessment, of the costs and benefits of proposed and final rules and other economic issues or issues related to risk that are relevant to rule making under this title. The rigor of cost-benefit analysis required by such guidelines shall be commensurate, in the Administrator's determination,

with the economic impact of the rule.

``(B) To ensure that agencies use the best available techniques to quantify and evaluate anticipated present and future benefits, costs, other economic issues, and risks as accurately as possible, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall regularly update guidelines established under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

``(2) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall also issue guidelines to promote coordination, simplification and harmonization of agency rules during the rule making process and otherwise. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids regulations that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, its other regulations and those of other Federal agencies and drafts its regulations to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing

the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(3) To ensure consistency in Federal rule making, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall--

``(A) issue guidelines and otherwise take action to ensure that rule makings conducted in whole or in part under procedures specified in provisions of law other than those of subchapter II of this title conform to the fullest extent allowed by law with the procedures set forth in section 553 of this title; and

``(B) issue guidelines for the conduct of hearings under subsections 553(d)(4) and 553(e) of this section, including to assure a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination. Each agency shall adopt regulations for the conduct of hearings consistent with the guidelines issued under this subparagraph.

``(4) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall issue guidelines pursuant to the Information Quality Act to apply in rule making proceedings under sections 553, 556, and 557 of this title. In all cases, such guidelines, and the Administrator's specific determinations regarding agency compliance with such guidelines, shall be entitled to judicial deference.

``(l) Inclusion in the Record of Certain Documents and Information.--The agency shall include in the record for a rule making, and shall make available by electronic means and otherwise, all documents and information prepared or considered by the agency during the proceeding, including, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, documents and information communicated by that Office during consultation with the Agency.

``(m) Monetary Policy Exemption.--Nothing in subsection (b)(6), subparagraphs (F) and (G) of subsection (d)(1), subsection (e), subsection (f)(3), and subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (f)(5) shall apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 4. AGENCY GUIDANCE; PROCEDURES TO ISSUE MAJOR GUIDANCE; PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GUIDELINES FOR ISSUANCE OF GUIDANCE.

(a) In General.--Chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 553 the following new section:``§553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance

``(a) Before issuing any major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, an agency shall--

``(1) make and document a reasoned determination that--

``(A) assures that such guidance is understandable and complies with relevant statutory objectives and regulatory provisions (including any statutory deadlines for agency action);

``(B) summarizes the evidence and data on which the agency will base the guidance;

``(C) identifies the costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) of conduct conforming to such guidance and assures that such benefits justify such costs; and

``(D) describes alternatives to such guidance and their costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) and explains why the agency rejected those alternatives; and

``(2) confer with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the issuance of such guidance to assure that the guidance is reasonable, understandable, consistent with relevant statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements or [Page: H260]

practices of other agencies, does not produce costs that are unjustified by the guidance's benefits, and is otherwise appropriate.

Upon issuing major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the agency shall publish the documentation required by subparagraph (1) by electronic means and otherwise.

``(b) Agency guidance--

``(1) is not legally binding and may not be relied upon by an agency as legal grounds for agency action;

``(2) shall state in a plain, prominent and permanent manner that it is not legally binding; and

``(3) shall, at the time it is issued or upon request, be made available by the issuing agency to interested persons and the public by electronic means and otherwise.

Agencies shall avoid the issuance of guidance that is inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the agency's governing statutes or regulations, with the goal of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(c) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall have authority to issue guidelines for use by the agencies in the issuance of major guidance and other guidance. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids issuing guidance documents that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the law, its other regulations, or the regulations of other Federal agencies and drafts its guidance documents to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal

of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 553 the following new item:

``553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance.''.

SEC. 5. HEARINGS; PRESIDING EMPLOYEES; POWERS AND DUTIES; BURDEN OF PROOF; EVIDENCE; RECORD AS BASIS OF DECISION.

Section 556 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:

``(e)(1) The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision in accordance with section 557 and shall be made available to the parties and the public by electronic means and, upon payment of lawfully prescribed costs, otherwise. When an agency decision rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, a party is entitled, on timely request, to an opportunity

to show the contrary.

``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a proceeding held under this section pursuant to section 553(d)(4) or 553(e), the record for decision shall also include any information that is part of the record of proceedings under section 553.

``(f) When an agency conducts rule making under this section and section 557 directly after concluding proceedings upon an advance notice of proposed rule making under section 553(c), the matters to be considered and determinations to be made shall include, among other relevant matters and determinations, the matters and determinations described in subsections (b) and (f) of section 553.

``(g) Upon receipt of a petition for a hearing under this section, the agency shall grant the petition in the case of any major rule, unless the agency reasonably determines that a hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. The agency shall publish its decision to grant or deny the petition when it renders the decision, including an explanation of the grounds for decision. The information

contained in the petition shall in all cases be included in the administrative record. This subsection shall not apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS REVIEWABLE.

Section 704 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking ``Agency action made'' and inserting ``(a) Agency action made''; and

(2) by adding at the end the following: ``Denial by an agency of a correction request or, where administrative appeal is provided for, denial of an appeal, under an administrative mechanism described in subsection (b)(2)(B) of the Information Quality Act, or the failure of an agency within 90 days to grant or deny such request or appeal, shall be final action for purposes of this section.

``(b) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under this chapter of the agency's determination to adopt such rule on an interim basis. Review shall be limited to whether the agency abused

its discretion to adopt the interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or without rendering final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553.''.

SEC. 7. SCOPE OF REVIEW.

Section 706 of title 5, United States Code is amended--

(1) by striking ``To the extent necessary'' and inserting ``(a) To the extent necessary'';

(2) in paragraph (2)(A) of subsection (a) (as designated by paragraph (1) of this section), by inserting after ``in accordance with law'' the following: ``(including the Information Quality Act)''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(b) The court shall not defer to the agency's--

``(1) interpretation of an agency rule if the agency did not comply with the procedures of section 553 or sections 556-557 of chapter 5 of this title to issue the interpretation;

``(2) determination of the costs and benefits or other economic or risk assessment of the action, if the agency failed to conform to guidelines on such determinations and assessments established by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under section 553(k);

``(3) determinations made in the adoption of an interim rule; or

``(4) guidance.

``(c) The court shall review agency denials of petitions under section 553(e)(6) or any other petition for a hearing under sections 556 and 557 for abuse of agency discretion.''.

SEC. 8. ADDED DEFINITION.

Section 701(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end, and inserting ``; and''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(3) `substantial evidence' means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion in light of the record considered as a whole, taking into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from the weight of the evidence relied upon by the agency to support its decision.''.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made by this Act to--

(1) sections 553, 556, and 704 of title 5, United States Code;

(2) subsection (b) of section 701 of such title;

(3) paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 706(b) of such title; and

(4) subsection (c) of section 706 of such title, shall not apply to any rule makings pending or completed on the date of enactment of this Act.

The CHAIR. No amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in part A of House Report 114-2. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR.

MCKINLEY

The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part A of House Report 114-2.

3:40 PM EST

Blake Randolph Farenthold, R-TX 27th

Mr. FARENTHOLD. Thank you very much, Chairman Goodlatte.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015.

There is no question that the Federal Government and Federal regulations take a heavy toll on businesses of all sizes. That toll isn't just financial; it is also stress, it is also time, it is also emotional. Dealing with the government is difficult. Just the dollars-and-cents cost of Federal regulation has been estimated at $1.86 trillion--or so the expert tells me. That adds up to roughly $15,000 per household.

It is simply not right for unelected bureaucrats to put that much weight on the shoulders of the American people without making all efforts to minimize the costs and give the people of south Texas and everywhere in this country the opportunity and a chance to weigh in.

In Texas in particular, we have seen how onerous EPA and Department of the Interior and other regulations have slowed job growth and the American energy boom, costing our domestic energy companies millions of dollars.

This bill would put public discussion back on the table when it comes to regulations and would ensure that the economic costs are fully considered and minimized. We have a lot of work to do to peel back some of the needless, overburdensome regulations that are strangling our businesses, but this bill will help us plug the hole in the boat while we get rid of--start pumping out--some of the water.

The other side likes to say that it is going to make it more difficult to regulate. It is supposed to be difficult to enact laws and regulations. We have to pass something out of the House, and we have got to pass something out of the Senate and get it signed by the President to enact a law; but a bureaucrat can do it, basically, with the stroke of a pen and a publication in the Federal Register.

This act is going to do something to curb that. We need less government, fewer laws, fewer regulations--and not more.

3:41 PM EST

Blake Randolph Farenthold, R-TX 27th

Mr. FARENTHOLD. Thank you very much, Chairman Goodlatte.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015.

There is no question that the Federal Government and Federal regulations take a heavy toll on businesses of all sizes. That toll isn't just financial; it is also stress, it is also time, it is also emotional. Dealing with the government is difficult. Just the dollars-and-cents cost of Federal regulation has been estimated at $1.86 trillion--or so the expert tells me. That adds up to roughly $15,000 per household.

It is simply not right for unelected bureaucrats to put that much weight on the shoulders of the American people without making all efforts to minimize the costs and give the people of south Texas and everywhere in this country the opportunity and a chance to weigh in.

In Texas in particular, we have seen how onerous EPA and Department of the Interior and other regulations have slowed job growth and the American energy boom, costing our domestic energy companies millions of dollars.

This bill would put public discussion back on the table when it comes to regulations and would ensure that the economic costs are fully considered and minimized. We have a lot of work to do to peel back some of the needless, overburdensome regulations that are strangling our businesses, but this bill will help us plug the hole in the boat while we get rid of--start pumping out--some of the water.

The other side likes to say that it is going to make it more difficult to regulate. It is supposed to be difficult to enact laws and regulations. We have to pass something out of the House, and we have got to pass something out of the Senate and get it signed by the President to enact a law; but a bureaucrat can do it, basically, with the stroke of a pen and a publication in the Federal Register.

This act is going to do something to curb that. We need less government, fewer laws, fewer regulations--and not more.

3:42 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time and urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation which will help to rein in the excessive power of the executive branch of the Federal Government and provide for common sense being brought to the writing of Federal Government regulations, saving American taxpayers and consumers billions if not trillions of dollars. It is badly needed. It is long overdue.

I urge my colleagues to support the legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State 2014 Edition

COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY(By Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.)

In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported outlays for fiscal year (FY) 2013 of $3.454 trillion and projected spending for FY 2014 at $3.543 trillion. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's federal budget proposal for FY 2015 seeks $3.901 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. In the previous fiscal year, the president had proposed outlays of $3.778 trillion. Despite high debt and deficits, we have been unable to avoid entering the era of $4 trillion

in annual spending.

We experienced trillion dollar deficits between 2009 and 2012, and CBO projects that deficits will exceed $1 trillion again by FY 2022. Trillion dollar deficits were once unimaginable. Such sums signified the level of budgets themselves, not of shortfalls. Yet at no point is spending projected to balance in the coming decade. President Obama's 2015 budget projects deficits that are smaller than recent heights--with 2014's claimed $649 billion to fall to $413 billion in 2018--before heading back

into the CBO-predicted stratosphere.

Many other countries' government outlays make up a greater share of their national output, compared with 20 percent for the U.S. government, but in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest government on the planet. Only four other nations top $1 trillion in annual government revenues, and none but the United States collects more than $2 trillion.

REGULATION: THE HIDDEN TAX

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government's reach extends well beyond Washington's taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions--perhaps trillions--of dollars annually in addition to the official federal outlays that dominate policy debate.

Firms generally pass the costs of some taxes along to consumers. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices that consumers pay and out of the wages workers [Page: H256]

earn. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist about scores of regulations and about the agencies that issue them, as well

as data about estimates of regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That compilation is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, highlights of which follow:

Among the five all-time-high Federal Register page counts, four have occurred under President Obama.

The annual outflow of more than 3,500 final rules--sometimes far above that level--means that 87,282 rules have been issued since 1993.

There were 51 rules for every law in 2013. The ``Unconstitutionality Index,'' the ratio of regulations issued by agencies to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president, stood at 51 for 2013. Specifically, 72 laws were passed in calendar year 2013, whereas 3,659 rules were issued. This disparity highlights the excessive delegation of lawmaking power to unelected agency officials.

This author's working paper, ``Tip of the Costberg,'' which is largely based on federal government data, estimates regulatory compliance and economic impacts at $1.863 trillion nnually.

U.S. households ``pay'' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax, thereby ``absorbing'' 23 percent of the average income of $65,596, and ``pay'' 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. The ``tax'' exceeds every item in the budget except housing. More is ``spent'' on embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel and services, and savings.

The estimated cost of regulation exceeds half the level of the federal budget itself. Regulatory costs of $1.863 trillion amount to 11.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which was estimated at $16.797 trillion in 2013 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

When regulatory costs are combined with federal FY 2013 outlays of $3.454 trillion, the federal government's share of the entire economy now reaches 31 percent. The regulatory ``hidden tax'' surpasses the income tax. Regulatory compliance costs exceed the 2013 estimated total individual income tax revenues of $1.234 trillion.

Regulatory compliance costs vastly exceed the 2013 estimated corporate income tax revenues of $288 billion and approach corporate pretax profits of $2.19 trillion.

If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the 10th largest economy, ranked between India and Italy.

U.S. regulatory costs exceed the GDPs of Australia and Canada, the highest-income nations among the countries ranked most free in the annual Index of Economic Freedom and Economic Freedom of the World reports.

The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., jointly estimate that agencies spent $57.3 billion (on budget) to administer and police the federal regulatory enterprise. Adding the $1.863 trillion in off-budget compliance costs brings the total regulatory enterprise to $1.92 trillion.

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest level in history.

Federal Register pages devoted specifically to final rules rose to a record high of 26,417.

The 2013 Federal Register contained 3,659 final rules and 2,594 proposed rules.

Since the nation's founding, more than 15,177 executive orders have been issued. President Obama issued 181 as of the end of 2013.

President George W Bush averaged 63 major rules annually during his eight years in office; Obama's five years so far have averaged 81.

Although there are over 3,500 rules annually, public notices in the Federal Register exceed 24,000 annually, with uncounted ``guidance documents'' among them. There were 24,261 notices in 2013 and 477,929 since 1995.

According to the fall 2013 ``Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions'' (which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation), 63 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,305 regulations at various stages of implementation.

Of the 3,305 regulations in the pipeline, 191 are ``economically significant'' rules, which the federal government defines as imposing at least $100 million in annual costs. Assuming that those rulemakings are primarily regulatory implies roughly $19 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

Of the 3,305 regulations now in the works, 669 affect small businesses. Of those, 391 required a regulatory flexibility analysis: 278 were otherwise noted by agencies to affect small businesses.

The five most active rule-producing agencies--the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, and Health and Human Services--account for 1,451 rules, or 44 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was formerly consistently in the top five, is now sixth, but adding its 179 rules brings the total from the top six rulemaking agencies to 1,630 rules, or 49.3 percent of all federal rules.

The most recent Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation of the overall U.S. federal regulatory enterprise estimated annual regulatory compliance costs of $1.752 trillion in 2008. Earlier SBA reports pegged costs at $1.1 trillion in 2005 and at $843 billion in 2001. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) agreed with those figures at the time. Meanwhile, a subset of 115 selected major rules reviewed during 2002-2012 by the OMB notes cumulative annual costs of between $57 billion and $84

billion.

The short-lived series of budget surpluses from 1998 to 2001--the first since 1969--seems like ancient history in today's debt and deficit-drenched policy setting, as the CBO projects annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decade. When it comes to stimulating a limping economy, reducing deficits and relieving regulatory burdens are key to the nation's economic health. Otherwise, budgetary pressures can incentivize lawmakers to impose off-budget regulations on the private

sector, rather than add to unpopular deficit spending. A new government program--for example, job training--would require either increasing government spending or imposing new regulations requiring such training. Unlike on-budget spending, the latter regulatory costs remain largely hidden from public view, which makes regulation increasingly attractive to lawmakers.

THE DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IMPERATIVES

Cost-benefit analysis at the agency level is already neglected; thus, at minimum, some third-party review is needed. Like federal spending, regulations and their costs should be tracked and disclosed annually. Then, periodic housecleaning should be performed.

A problem with cost-benefit analysis is that it largely relies on agency self-policing. Having agencies audit their own rules is like asking students to grade their own exams. Regulators are disinclined to emphasize when a rule's benefits do not justify the costs involved. In fact, one could expect new and dubious categories of benefits to emerge to justify an agency's rulemaking activity.

A major source of overregulation is the systematic overdelegation of rulemaking power to agencies. Requiring expedited votes on economically significant or controversial agency rules before they become binding would reestablish congressional accountability and would help affirm a principle of ``no regulation without representation.''

Openness about regulatory facts and figures can be bolstered through federal ``regulatory report cards,'' similar to the presentation in Ten Thousand Commandments. These could be officially issued each year to distill information for the public and policy makers about the scope of the regulatory state.

The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.

Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 185

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

Section 551 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (13), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (14), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(15) `major rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(16) `high-impact rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose an annual cost on the economy of $1,000,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(17) `negative-impact on jobs and wages rule' means any rule that the agency that made the rule or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to--

``(A) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(B) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, [Page: H257]

reduce average weekly wages for employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(C) in any industry area (as such term is defined in the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) in which the most recent annual unemployment rate for the industry area is greater than 5 percent, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Current Population Survey, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation; or

``(D) in any industry area in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in the Occupational Employment Statistics program that the employment level will decrease by 1 percent or more, further reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation;

``(18) `guidance' means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue;

``(19) `major guidance' means guidance that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finds is likely to lead to--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(20) the `Information Quality Act' means section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, and guidelines issued by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or other agencies pursuant to the Act; and

``(21) the `Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' means the office established under section 3503 of chapter 35 of title 44 and any successor to that office.''.

SEC. 3. RULE MAKING.

(a) Section 553(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking ``(a) This section applies'' and inserting ``(a) Applicability.--This section applies''.

(b) Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (b) through (e) and inserting the following:

``(b) Rule Making Considerations.--In a rule making, an agency shall make all preliminary and final factual determinations based on evidence and consider, in addition to other applicable considerations, the following:

``(1) The legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making.

``(2) Other statutory considerations applicable to whether the agency can or should propose a rule or undertake other agency action.

``(3) The specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule (including the degree and nature of risks the problem poses and the priority of addressing those risks compared to other matters or activities within the agency's jurisdiction), whether the problem warrants new agency action, and the countervailing risks that may be posed by alternatives for new agency action.

``(4) Whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency may address with a rule and whether those rules could be amended or rescinded to address the problem in whole or part.

``(5) Any reasonable alternatives for a new rule or other response identified by the agency or interested persons, including not only responses that mandate particular conduct or manners of compliance, but also--

``(A) the alternative of no Federal response;

``(B) amending or rescinding existing rules;

``(C) potential regional, State, local, or tribal regulatory action or other responses that could be taken in lieu of agency action; and

``(D) potential responses that--

``(i) specify performance objectives rather than conduct or manners of compliance;

``(ii) establish economic incentives to encourage desired behavior;

``(iii) provide information upon which choices can be made by the public; or

``(iv) incorporate other innovative alternatives rather than agency actions that specify conduct or manners of compliance.

``(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law--

``(A) the potential costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses considered under section 553(b)(5), including direct, indirect, and cumulative costs and benefits and estimated impacts on jobs (including an estimate of the net gain or loss in domestic jobs), wages, economic growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness;

``(B) means to increase the cost-effectiveness of any Federal response; and

``(C) incentives for innovation, consistency, predictability, lower costs of enforcement and compliance (to government entities, regulated entities, and the public), and flexibility.

``(c) Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Major Rules, High-Impact Rules, Negative-Impact on Jobs and Wages Rules, and Rules Involving Novel Legal or Policy Issues.--In the case of a rule making for a major rule, a high-impact rule, a negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, or a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, not later than 90 days before a notice of proposed rule making is published in the Federal Register, an agency shall

publish advance notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register. In publishing such advance notice, the agency shall--

``(1) include a written statement identifying, at a minimum--

``(A) the nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule, including data and other evidence and information on which the agency expects to rely for the proposed rule;

``(B) the legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making;

``(C) preliminary information available to the agency concerning the other considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(D) in the case of a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the nature of and potential reasons to adopt the novel legal or policy position upon which the agency may base a proposed rule; and

``(E) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(2) solicit written data, views or argument from interested persons concerning the information and issues addressed in the advance notice; and

``(3) provide for a period of not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit such written data, views, or argument to the agency.

``(d) Notices of Proposed Rule Making; Determinations of Other Agency Course.--(1) Before it determines to propose a rule, and following completion of procedures under subsection (c), if applicable, the agency shall consult with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. If the agency thereafter determines to propose a rule, the agency shall publish a notice of proposed rule making, which shall include--

``(A) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings;

``(B) reference to the legal authority under which the rule is proposed;

``(C) the terms of the proposed rule;

``(D) a description of information known to the agency on the subject and issues of the proposed rule, including but not limited to--

``(i) a summary of information known to the agency concerning the considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(ii) a summary of additional information the agency provided to and obtained from interested persons under subsection (c);

``(iii) a summary of any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis performed by the agency; and

``(iv) information specifically identifying all data, studies, models, and other evidence or information considered or used by the agency in connection with its determination to propose the rule;

``(E)(i) a reasoned preliminary determination of need for the rule based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(ii) an additional statement of whether a rule is required by statute; and

``(iii) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(F) a reasoned preliminary determination that the benefits of the proposed rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the costs of the proposed rule (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(G) a discussion of--

``(i) the alternatives to the proposed rule, and other alternative responses, considered by the agency under subsection (b);

``(ii) the costs and benefits of those alternatives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(iii) whether those alternatives meet relevant statutory objectives; and

``(iv) why the agency did not propose any of those alternatives; and

``(H)(i) a statement of whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the proposed rule; and

``(ii) if so, whether or not the agency proposes to amend or rescind any such rules, and why.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination to propose the rule, including any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information prepared or described by the agency under subparagraph (D) and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by [Page:

H258]

that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the proposed rule and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of proposed rule making is published.

``(2)(A) If the agency undertakes procedures under subsection (c) and determines thereafter not to propose a rule, the agency shall, following consultation with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish a notice of determination of other agency course. A notice of determination of other agency course shall include information required by paragraph (1)(D) to be included in a notice of proposed rule making and a description of the alternative response the agency determined to adopt.

``(B) If in its determination of other agency course the agency makes a determination to amend or rescind an existing rule, the agency need not undertake additional proceedings under subsection (c) before it publishes a notice of proposed rule making to amend or rescind the existing rule.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination of other agency course, including but not limited to any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information that would be required to be prepared or described by the agency under paragraph (1)(D) if the agency had determined to publish a notice of proposed rule making and, at the discretion of the President

or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the determination and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of determination is published.

``(3) After notice of proposed rule making required by this section, the agency shall provide interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except that--

``(A) if a hearing is required under paragraph (4)(B) or subsection (e), opportunity for oral presentation shall be provided pursuant to that requirement; or

``(B) when other than under subsection (e) of this section rules are required by statute or at the discretion of the agency to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, sections 556 and 557 shall apply, and paragraph (4), the requirements of subsection (e) to receive comment outside of the procedures of sections 556 and 557, and the petition procedures of subsection (e)(6) shall not apply.

The agency shall provide not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit written data, views, or argument (or 120 days in the case of a proposed major or high-impact rule).

``(4)(A) Within 30 days of publication of notice of proposed rule making, a member of the public may petition for a hearing in accordance with section 556 to determine whether any evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act.

``(B)(i) The agency may, upon review of the petition, determine without further process to exclude from the rule making the evidence or other information that is the subject of the petition and, if appropriate, withdraw the proposed rule. The agency shall promptly publish any such determination.

``(ii) If the agency does not resolve the petition under the procedures of clause (i), it shall grant any such petition that presents a prima facie case that evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act, hold the requested hearing not later than 30 days after receipt of the petition, provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at the hearing, and decide the issues presented by the petition not later than

60 days after receipt of the petition. The agency may deny any petition that it determines does not present such a prima facie case.

``(C) There shall be no judicial review of the agency's disposition of issues considered and decided or determined under subparagraph (B)(ii) until judicial review of the agency's final action. There shall be no judicial review of an agency's determination to withdraw a proposed rule under subparagraph (B)(i) on the basis of the petition.

``(D) Failure to petition for a hearing under this paragraph shall not preclude judicial review of any claim based on the Information Quality Act under chapter 7 of this title.

``(e) Hearings for High-Impact Rules.--Following notice of a proposed rule making, receipt of comments on the proposed rule, and any hearing held under subsection (d)(4), and before adoption of any high-impact rule, the agency shall hold a hearing in accordance with sections 556 and 557, unless such hearing is waived by all participants in the rule making other than the agency. The agency shall provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at such hearing. The hearing shall

be limited to the following issues of fact, except that participants at the hearing other than the agency may waive determination of any such issue:

``(1) Whether the agency's asserted factual predicate for the rule is supported by the evidence.

``(2) Whether there is an alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the proposed rule.

``(3) If there is more than one alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost than the proposed rule, which alternative would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at the lowest cost.

``(4) Whether, if the agency proposes to adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), the additional benefits of the more costly rule exceed the additional costs of the more costly rule.

``(5) Whether the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule meets the requirements of the Information Quality Act.

``(6) Upon petition by an interested person who has participated in the rule making, other issues relevant to the rule making, unless the agency determines that consideration of the issues at the hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the nature of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. An agency shall grant or deny a petition under this paragraph within 30 days of its receipt of the petition.

No later than 45 days before any hearing held under this subsection or sections 556 and 557, the agency shall publish in the Federal Register a notice specifying the proposed rule to be considered at such hearing, the issues to be considered at the hearing, and the time and place for such hearing, except that such notice may be issued not later than 15 days before a hearing held under subsection (d)(4)(B).

``(f) Final Rules.--(1) The agency shall adopt a rule only following consultation with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to facilitate compliance with applicable rule making requirements.

``(2) The agency shall adopt a rule only on the basis of the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other evidence and information concerning the need for, consequences of, and alternatives to the rule.

``(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the agency shall adopt the least costly rule considered during the rule making (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) that meets relevant statutory objectives.

``(B) The agency may adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives only if the additional benefits of the more costly rule justify its additional costs and only if the agency explains its reason for doing so based on interests of public health, safety or welfare that are clearly within the scope of the statutory provision authorizing the rule.

``(4) When it adopts a final rule, the agency shall publish a notice of final rule making. The notice shall include--

``(A) a concise, general statement of the rule's basis and purpose;

``(B) the agency's reasoned final determination of need for a rule to address the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, including a statement of whether a rule is required by statute and a summary of any final risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency;

``(C) the agency's reasoned final determination that the benefits of the rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the rule's costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(D) the agency's reasoned final determination not to adopt any of the alternatives to the proposed rule considered by the agency during the rule making, including--

``(i) the agency's reasoned final determination that no alternative considered achieved the relevant statutory objectives with lower costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the rule; or

``(ii) the agency's reasoned determination that its adoption of a more costly rule complies with subsection (f)(3)(B);

``(E) the agency's reasoned final determination--

``(i) that existing rules have not created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule; or

``(ii) that existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, and, if so--

``(I) why amendment or rescission of such existing rules is not alone sufficient to respond to the problem; and

``(II) whether and how the agency intends to amend or rescind the existing rule separate from adoption of the rule;

``(F) the agency's reasoned final determination that the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the rule complies with the Information Quality Act;

``(G) the agency's reasoned final determination that the rule meets the objectives that the agency identified in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other objectives are more appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the rule meets those objectives;

``(H) the agency's reasoned final determination that it did not deviate from the metrics the agency included in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other metrics are more [Page: H259]

appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the agency did not deviate from those metrics;

``(I)(i) for any major rule, high-impact rule, or negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, the agency's plan for review of the rule no less than every ten years to determine whether, based upon evidence, there remains a need for the rule, whether the rule is in fact achieving statutory objectives, whether the rule's benefits continue to justify its costs, and whether the rule can be modified or rescinded to reduce costs while continuing to achieve statutory objectives; and

``(ii) review of a rule under a plan required by clause (i) of this subparagraph shall take into account the factors and criteria set forth in subsections (b) through (f) of section 553 of this title; and

``(J) for any negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, a statement that the head of the agency that made the rule approved the rule knowing about the findings and determination of the agency or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that qualified the rule as a negative impact on jobs and wages rule.

All information considered by the agency in connection with its adoption of the rule, and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the rule and made accessible to the public for the public's use no later than when the rule is adopted.

``(g) Exceptions From Notice and Hearing Requirements.--(1) Except when notice or hearing is required by statute, the following do not apply to interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice:

``(A) Subsections (c) through (e).

``(B) Paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (f).

``(C) Subparagraphs (B) through (H) of subsection (f)(4).

``(2)(A) When the agency for good cause, based upon evidence, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section before the issuance of an interim rule is impracticable or contrary to the public interest, including interests of national security, such subsections or requirements to render final determinations shall

not apply to the agency's adoption of an interim rule.

``(B) If, following compliance with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the agency adopts an interim rule, it shall commence proceedings that comply fully with subsections (d) through (f) of this section immediately upon publication of the interim rule, shall treat the publication of the interim rule as publication of a notice of proposed rule making and shall not be required to issue supplemental notice other than to complete full compliance with subsection (d). No less than 270 days from publication

of the interim rule (or 18 months in the case of a major rule or high-impact rule), the agency shall complete rule making under subsections (d) through (f) of this subsection and take final action to adopt a final rule or rescind the interim rule. If the agency fails to take timely final action, the interim rule will cease to have the effect of law.

``(C) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under chapter 7 of this title of the agency's determination to adopt such interim rule. The record on such review shall include all documents and information considered by the agency and

any additional information presented by a party that the court determines necessary to consider to assure justice.

``(3) When the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are unnecessary, including because agency rule making is undertaken only to correct a de minimis technical or clerical error in a previously issued rule or for other noncontroversial purposes, the agency may publish a rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), (e), or (f)(1)-(3) and (f)(4)(B)-(F). If the agency

receives significant adverse comment within 60 days after publication of the rule, it shall treat the notice of the rule as a notice of proposed rule making and complete rule making in compliance with subsections (d) and (f).

``(h) Additional Requirements for Hearings.--When a hearing is required under subsection (e) or is otherwise required by statute or at the agency's discretion before adoption of a rule, the agency shall comply with the requirements of sections 556 and 557 in addition to the requirements of subsection (f) in adopting the rule and in providing notice of the rule's adoption.

``(i) Date of Publication of Rule.--The required publication or service of a substantive final or interim rule shall be made not less than 30 days before the effective date of the rule, except--

``(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;

``(2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or

``(3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

``(j) Right To Petition.--Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

``(k) Rule Making Guidelines.--(1)(A) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall establish guidelines for the assessment, including quantitative and qualitative assessment, of the costs and benefits of proposed and final rules and other economic issues or issues related to risk that are relevant to rule making under this title. The rigor of cost-benefit analysis required by such guidelines shall be commensurate, in the Administrator's determination,

with the economic impact of the rule.

``(B) To ensure that agencies use the best available techniques to quantify and evaluate anticipated present and future benefits, costs, other economic issues, and risks as accurately as possible, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall regularly update guidelines established under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

``(2) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall also issue guidelines to promote coordination, simplification and harmonization of agency rules during the rule making process and otherwise. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids regulations that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, its other regulations and those of other Federal agencies and drafts its regulations to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing

the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(3) To ensure consistency in Federal rule making, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall--

``(A) issue guidelines and otherwise take action to ensure that rule makings conducted in whole or in part under procedures specified in provisions of law other than those of subchapter II of this title conform to the fullest extent allowed by law with the procedures set forth in section 553 of this title; and

``(B) issue guidelines for the conduct of hearings under subsections 553(d)(4) and 553(e) of this section, including to assure a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination. Each agency shall adopt regulations for the conduct of hearings consistent with the guidelines issued under this subparagraph.

``(4) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall issue guidelines pursuant to the Information Quality Act to apply in rule making proceedings under sections 553, 556, and 557 of this title. In all cases, such guidelines, and the Administrator's specific determinations regarding agency compliance with such guidelines, shall be entitled to judicial deference.

``(l) Inclusion in the Record of Certain Documents and Information.--The agency shall include in the record for a rule making, and shall make available by electronic means and otherwise, all documents and information prepared or considered by the agency during the proceeding, including, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, documents and information communicated by that Office during consultation with the Agency.

``(m) Monetary Policy Exemption.--Nothing in subsection (b)(6), subparagraphs (F) and (G) of subsection (d)(1), subsection (e), subsection (f)(3), and subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (f)(5) shall apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 4. AGENCY GUIDANCE; PROCEDURES TO ISSUE MAJOR GUIDANCE; PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GUIDELINES FOR ISSUANCE OF GUIDANCE.

(a) In General.--Chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 553 the following new section:``§553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance

``(a) Before issuing any major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, an agency shall--

``(1) make and document a reasoned determination that--

``(A) assures that such guidance is understandable and complies with relevant statutory objectives and regulatory provisions (including any statutory deadlines for agency action);

``(B) summarizes the evidence and data on which the agency will base the guidance;

``(C) identifies the costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) of conduct conforming to such guidance and assures that such benefits justify such costs; and

``(D) describes alternatives to such guidance and their costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) and explains why the agency rejected those alternatives; and

``(2) confer with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the issuance of such guidance to assure that the guidance is reasonable, understandable, consistent with relevant statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements or [Page: H260]

practices of other agencies, does not produce costs that are unjustified by the guidance's benefits, and is otherwise appropriate.

Upon issuing major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the agency shall publish the documentation required by subparagraph (1) by electronic means and otherwise.

``(b) Agency guidance--

``(1) is not legally binding and may not be relied upon by an agency as legal grounds for agency action;

``(2) shall state in a plain, prominent and permanent manner that it is not legally binding; and

``(3) shall, at the time it is issued or upon request, be made available by the issuing agency to interested persons and the public by electronic means and otherwise.

Agencies shall avoid the issuance of guidance that is inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the agency's governing statutes or regulations, with the goal of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(c) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall have authority to issue guidelines for use by the agencies in the issuance of major guidance and other guidance. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids issuing guidance documents that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the law, its other regulations, or the regulations of other Federal agencies and drafts its guidance documents to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal

of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 553 the following new item:

``553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance.''.

SEC. 5. HEARINGS; PRESIDING EMPLOYEES; POWERS AND DUTIES; BURDEN OF PROOF; EVIDENCE; RECORD AS BASIS OF DECISION.

Section 556 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:

``(e)(1) The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision in accordance with section 557 and shall be made available to the parties and the public by electronic means and, upon payment of lawfully prescribed costs, otherwise. When an agency decision rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, a party is entitled, on timely request, to an opportunity

to show the contrary.

``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a proceeding held under this section pursuant to section 553(d)(4) or 553(e), the record for decision shall also include any information that is part of the record of proceedings under section 553.

``(f) When an agency conducts rule making under this section and section 557 directly after concluding proceedings upon an advance notice of proposed rule making under section 553(c), the matters to be considered and determinations to be made shall include, among other relevant matters and determinations, the matters and determinations described in subsections (b) and (f) of section 553.

``(g) Upon receipt of a petition for a hearing under this section, the agency shall grant the petition in the case of any major rule, unless the agency reasonably determines that a hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. The agency shall publish its decision to grant or deny the petition when it renders the decision, including an explanation of the grounds for decision. The information

contained in the petition shall in all cases be included in the administrative record. This subsection shall not apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS REVIEWABLE.

Section 704 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking ``Agency action made'' and inserting ``(a) Agency action made''; and

(2) by adding at the end the following: ``Denial by an agency of a correction request or, where administrative appeal is provided for, denial of an appeal, under an administrative mechanism described in subsection (b)(2)(B) of the Information Quality Act, or the failure of an agency within 90 days to grant or deny such request or appeal, shall be final action for purposes of this section.

``(b) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under this chapter of the agency's determination to adopt such rule on an interim basis. Review shall be limited to whether the agency abused

its discretion to adopt the interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or without rendering final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553.''.

SEC. 7. SCOPE OF REVIEW.

Section 706 of title 5, United States Code is amended--

(1) by striking ``To the extent necessary'' and inserting ``(a) To the extent necessary'';

(2) in paragraph (2)(A) of subsection (a) (as designated by paragraph (1) of this section), by inserting after ``in accordance with law'' the following: ``(including the Information Quality Act)''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(b) The court shall not defer to the agency's--

``(1) interpretation of an agency rule if the agency did not comply with the procedures of section 553 or sections 556-557 of chapter 5 of this title to issue the interpretation;

``(2) determination of the costs and benefits or other economic or risk assessment of the action, if the agency failed to conform to guidelines on such determinations and assessments established by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under section 553(k);

``(3) determinations made in the adoption of an interim rule; or

``(4) guidance.

``(c) The court shall review agency denials of petitions under section 553(e)(6) or any other petition for a hearing under sections 556 and 557 for abuse of agency discretion.''.

SEC. 8. ADDED DEFINITION.

Section 701(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end, and inserting ``; and''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(3) `substantial evidence' means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion in light of the record considered as a whole, taking into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from the weight of the evidence relied upon by the agency to support its decision.''.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made by this Act to--

(1) sections 553, 556, and 704 of title 5, United States Code;

(2) subsection (b) of section 701 of such title;

(3) paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 706(b) of such title; and

(4) subsection (c) of section 706 of such title, shall not apply to any rule makings pending or completed on the date of enactment of this Act.

The CHAIR. No amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in part A of House Report 114-2. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR.

MCKINLEY

The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part A of House Report 114-2.

3:42 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time and urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation which will help to rein in the excessive power of the executive branch of the Federal Government and provide for common sense being brought to the writing of Federal Government regulations, saving American taxpayers and consumers billions if not trillions of dollars. It is badly needed. It is long overdue.

I urge my colleagues to support the legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State 2014 Edition

COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY(By Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.)

In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported outlays for fiscal year (FY) 2013 of $3.454 trillion and projected spending for FY 2014 at $3.543 trillion. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's federal budget proposal for FY 2015 seeks $3.901 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. In the previous fiscal year, the president had proposed outlays of $3.778 trillion. Despite high debt and deficits, we have been unable to avoid entering the era of $4 trillion

in annual spending.

We experienced trillion dollar deficits between 2009 and 2012, and CBO projects that deficits will exceed $1 trillion again by FY 2022. Trillion dollar deficits were once unimaginable. Such sums signified the level of budgets themselves, not of shortfalls. Yet at no point is spending projected to balance in the coming decade. President Obama's 2015 budget projects deficits that are smaller than recent heights--with 2014's claimed $649 billion to fall to $413 billion in 2018--before heading back

into the CBO-predicted stratosphere.

Many other countries' government outlays make up a greater share of their national output, compared with 20 percent for the U.S. government, but in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest government on the planet. Only four other nations top $1 trillion in annual government revenues, and none but the United States collects more than $2 trillion.

REGULATION: THE HIDDEN TAX

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government's reach extends well beyond Washington's taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions--perhaps trillions--of dollars annually in addition to the official federal outlays that dominate policy debate.

Firms generally pass the costs of some taxes along to consumers. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices that consumers pay and out of the wages workers [Page: H256]

earn. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist about scores of regulations and about the agencies that issue them, as well

as data about estimates of regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That compilation is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, highlights of which follow:

Among the five all-time-high Federal Register page counts, four have occurred under President Obama.

The annual outflow of more than 3,500 final rules--sometimes far above that level--means that 87,282 rules have been issued since 1993.

There were 51 rules for every law in 2013. The ``Unconstitutionality Index,'' the ratio of regulations issued by agencies to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president, stood at 51 for 2013. Specifically, 72 laws were passed in calendar year 2013, whereas 3,659 rules were issued. This disparity highlights the excessive delegation of lawmaking power to unelected agency officials.

This author's working paper, ``Tip of the Costberg,'' which is largely based on federal government data, estimates regulatory compliance and economic impacts at $1.863 trillion nnually.

U.S. households ``pay'' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax, thereby ``absorbing'' 23 percent of the average income of $65,596, and ``pay'' 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. The ``tax'' exceeds every item in the budget except housing. More is ``spent'' on embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel and services, and savings.

The estimated cost of regulation exceeds half the level of the federal budget itself. Regulatory costs of $1.863 trillion amount to 11.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which was estimated at $16.797 trillion in 2013 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

When regulatory costs are combined with federal FY 2013 outlays of $3.454 trillion, the federal government's share of the entire economy now reaches 31 percent. The regulatory ``hidden tax'' surpasses the income tax. Regulatory compliance costs exceed the 2013 estimated total individual income tax revenues of $1.234 trillion.

Regulatory compliance costs vastly exceed the 2013 estimated corporate income tax revenues of $288 billion and approach corporate pretax profits of $2.19 trillion.

If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the 10th largest economy, ranked between India and Italy.

U.S. regulatory costs exceed the GDPs of Australia and Canada, the highest-income nations among the countries ranked most free in the annual Index of Economic Freedom and Economic Freedom of the World reports.

The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., jointly estimate that agencies spent $57.3 billion (on budget) to administer and police the federal regulatory enterprise. Adding the $1.863 trillion in off-budget compliance costs brings the total regulatory enterprise to $1.92 trillion.

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest level in history.

Federal Register pages devoted specifically to final rules rose to a record high of 26,417.

The 2013 Federal Register contained 3,659 final rules and 2,594 proposed rules.

Since the nation's founding, more than 15,177 executive orders have been issued. President Obama issued 181 as of the end of 2013.

President George W Bush averaged 63 major rules annually during his eight years in office; Obama's five years so far have averaged 81.

Although there are over 3,500 rules annually, public notices in the Federal Register exceed 24,000 annually, with uncounted ``guidance documents'' among them. There were 24,261 notices in 2013 and 477,929 since 1995.

According to the fall 2013 ``Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions'' (which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation), 63 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,305 regulations at various stages of implementation.

Of the 3,305 regulations in the pipeline, 191 are ``economically significant'' rules, which the federal government defines as imposing at least $100 million in annual costs. Assuming that those rulemakings are primarily regulatory implies roughly $19 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

Of the 3,305 regulations now in the works, 669 affect small businesses. Of those, 391 required a regulatory flexibility analysis: 278 were otherwise noted by agencies to affect small businesses.

The five most active rule-producing agencies--the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, and Health and Human Services--account for 1,451 rules, or 44 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was formerly consistently in the top five, is now sixth, but adding its 179 rules brings the total from the top six rulemaking agencies to 1,630 rules, or 49.3 percent of all federal rules.

The most recent Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation of the overall U.S. federal regulatory enterprise estimated annual regulatory compliance costs of $1.752 trillion in 2008. Earlier SBA reports pegged costs at $1.1 trillion in 2005 and at $843 billion in 2001. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) agreed with those figures at the time. Meanwhile, a subset of 115 selected major rules reviewed during 2002-2012 by the OMB notes cumulative annual costs of between $57 billion and $84

billion.

The short-lived series of budget surpluses from 1998 to 2001--the first since 1969--seems like ancient history in today's debt and deficit-drenched policy setting, as the CBO projects annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decade. When it comes to stimulating a limping economy, reducing deficits and relieving regulatory burdens are key to the nation's economic health. Otherwise, budgetary pressures can incentivize lawmakers to impose off-budget regulations on the private

sector, rather than add to unpopular deficit spending. A new government program--for example, job training--would require either increasing government spending or imposing new regulations requiring such training. Unlike on-budget spending, the latter regulatory costs remain largely hidden from public view, which makes regulation increasingly attractive to lawmakers.

THE DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IMPERATIVES

Cost-benefit analysis at the agency level is already neglected; thus, at minimum, some third-party review is needed. Like federal spending, regulations and their costs should be tracked and disclosed annually. Then, periodic housecleaning should be performed.

A problem with cost-benefit analysis is that it largely relies on agency self-policing. Having agencies audit their own rules is like asking students to grade their own exams. Regulators are disinclined to emphasize when a rule's benefits do not justify the costs involved. In fact, one could expect new and dubious categories of benefits to emerge to justify an agency's rulemaking activity.

A major source of overregulation is the systematic overdelegation of rulemaking power to agencies. Requiring expedited votes on economically significant or controversial agency rules before they become binding would reestablish congressional accountability and would help affirm a principle of ``no regulation without representation.''

Openness about regulatory facts and figures can be bolstered through federal ``regulatory report cards,'' similar to the presentation in Ten Thousand Commandments. These could be officially issued each year to distill information for the public and policy makers about the scope of the regulatory state.

The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.

Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 185

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

Section 551 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (13), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (14), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(15) `major rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(16) `high-impact rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose an annual cost on the economy of $1,000,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(17) `negative-impact on jobs and wages rule' means any rule that the agency that made the rule or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to--

``(A) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(B) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, [Page: H257]

reduce average weekly wages for employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(C) in any industry area (as such term is defined in the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) in which the most recent annual unemployment rate for the industry area is greater than 5 percent, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Current Population Survey, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation; or

``(D) in any industry area in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in the Occupational Employment Statistics program that the employment level will decrease by 1 percent or more, further reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation;

``(18) `guidance' means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue;

``(19) `major guidance' means guidance that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finds is likely to lead to--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(20) the `Information Quality Act' means section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, and guidelines issued by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or other agencies pursuant to the Act; and

``(21) the `Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' means the office established under section 3503 of chapter 35 of title 44 and any successor to that office.''.

SEC. 3. RULE MAKING.

(a) Section 553(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking ``(a) This section applies'' and inserting ``(a) Applicability.--This section applies''.

(b) Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (b) through (e) and inserting the following:

``(b) Rule Making Considerations.--In a rule making, an agency shall make all preliminary and final factual determinations based on evidence and consider, in addition to other applicable considerations, the following:

``(1) The legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making.

``(2) Other statutory considerations applicable to whether the agency can or should propose a rule or undertake other agency action.

``(3) The specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule (including the degree and nature of risks the problem poses and the priority of addressing those risks compared to other matters or activities within the agency's jurisdiction), whether the problem warrants new agency action, and the countervailing risks that may be posed by alternatives for new agency action.

``(4) Whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency may address with a rule and whether those rules could be amended or rescinded to address the problem in whole or part.

``(5) Any reasonable alternatives for a new rule or other response identified by the agency or interested persons, including not only responses that mandate particular conduct or manners of compliance, but also--

``(A) the alternative of no Federal response;

``(B) amending or rescinding existing rules;

``(C) potential regional, State, local, or tribal regulatory action or other responses that could be taken in lieu of agency action; and

``(D) potential responses that--

``(i) specify performance objectives rather than conduct or manners of compliance;

``(ii) establish economic incentives to encourage desired behavior;

``(iii) provide information upon which choices can be made by the public; or

``(iv) incorporate other innovative alternatives rather than agency actions that specify conduct or manners of compliance.

``(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law--

``(A) the potential costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses considered under section 553(b)(5), including direct, indirect, and cumulative costs and benefits and estimated impacts on jobs (including an estimate of the net gain or loss in domestic jobs), wages, economic growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness;

``(B) means to increase the cost-effectiveness of any Federal response; and

``(C) incentives for innovation, consistency, predictability, lower costs of enforcement and compliance (to government entities, regulated entities, and the public), and flexibility.

``(c) Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Major Rules, High-Impact Rules, Negative-Impact on Jobs and Wages Rules, and Rules Involving Novel Legal or Policy Issues.--In the case of a rule making for a major rule, a high-impact rule, a negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, or a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, not later than 90 days before a notice of proposed rule making is published in the Federal Register, an agency shall

publish advance notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register. In publishing such advance notice, the agency shall--

``(1) include a written statement identifying, at a minimum--

``(A) the nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule, including data and other evidence and information on which the agency expects to rely for the proposed rule;

``(B) the legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making;

``(C) preliminary information available to the agency concerning the other considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(D) in the case of a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the nature of and potential reasons to adopt the novel legal or policy position upon which the agency may base a proposed rule; and

``(E) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(2) solicit written data, views or argument from interested persons concerning the information and issues addressed in the advance notice; and

``(3) provide for a period of not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit such written data, views, or argument to the agency.

``(d) Notices of Proposed Rule Making; Determinations of Other Agency Course.--(1) Before it determines to propose a rule, and following completion of procedures under subsection (c), if applicable, the agency shall consult with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. If the agency thereafter determines to propose a rule, the agency shall publish a notice of proposed rule making, which shall include--

``(A) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings;

``(B) reference to the legal authority under which the rule is proposed;

``(C) the terms of the proposed rule;

``(D) a description of information known to the agency on the subject and issues of the proposed rule, including but not limited to--

``(i) a summary of information known to the agency concerning the considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(ii) a summary of additional information the agency provided to and obtained from interested persons under subsection (c);

``(iii) a summary of any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis performed by the agency; and

``(iv) information specifically identifying all data, studies, models, and other evidence or information considered or used by the agency in connection with its determination to propose the rule;

``(E)(i) a reasoned preliminary determination of need for the rule based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(ii) an additional statement of whether a rule is required by statute; and

``(iii) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(F) a reasoned preliminary determination that the benefits of the proposed rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the costs of the proposed rule (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(G) a discussion of--

``(i) the alternatives to the proposed rule, and other alternative responses, considered by the agency under subsection (b);

``(ii) the costs and benefits of those alternatives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(iii) whether those alternatives meet relevant statutory objectives; and

``(iv) why the agency did not propose any of those alternatives; and

``(H)(i) a statement of whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the proposed rule; and

``(ii) if so, whether or not the agency proposes to amend or rescind any such rules, and why.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination to propose the rule, including any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information prepared or described by the agency under subparagraph (D) and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by [Page:

H258]

that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the proposed rule and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of proposed rule making is published.

``(2)(A) If the agency undertakes procedures under subsection (c) and determines thereafter not to propose a rule, the agency shall, following consultation with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish a notice of determination of other agency course. A notice of determination of other agency course shall include information required by paragraph (1)(D) to be included in a notice of proposed rule making and a description of the alternative response the agency determined to adopt.

``(B) If in its determination of other agency course the agency makes a determination to amend or rescind an existing rule, the agency need not undertake additional proceedings under subsection (c) before it publishes a notice of proposed rule making to amend or rescind the existing rule.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination of other agency course, including but not limited to any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information that would be required to be prepared or described by the agency under paragraph (1)(D) if the agency had determined to publish a notice of proposed rule making and, at the discretion of the President

or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the determination and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of determination is published.

``(3) After notice of proposed rule making required by this section, the agency shall provide interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except that--

``(A) if a hearing is required under paragraph (4)(B) or subsection (e), opportunity for oral presentation shall be provided pursuant to that requirement; or

``(B) when other than under subsection (e) of this section rules are required by statute or at the discretion of the agency to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, sections 556 and 557 shall apply, and paragraph (4), the requirements of subsection (e) to receive comment outside of the procedures of sections 556 and 557, and the petition procedures of subsection (e)(6) shall not apply.

The agency shall provide not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit written data, views, or argument (or 120 days in the case of a proposed major or high-impact rule).

``(4)(A) Within 30 days of publication of notice of proposed rule making, a member of the public may petition for a hearing in accordance with section 556 to determine whether any evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act.

``(B)(i) The agency may, upon review of the petition, determine without further process to exclude from the rule making the evidence or other information that is the subject of the petition and, if appropriate, withdraw the proposed rule. The agency shall promptly publish any such determination.

``(ii) If the agency does not resolve the petition under the procedures of clause (i), it shall grant any such petition that presents a prima facie case that evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act, hold the requested hearing not later than 30 days after receipt of the petition, provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at the hearing, and decide the issues presented by the petition not later than

60 days after receipt of the petition. The agency may deny any petition that it determines does not present such a prima facie case.

``(C) There shall be no judicial review of the agency's disposition of issues considered and decided or determined under subparagraph (B)(ii) until judicial review of the agency's final action. There shall be no judicial review of an agency's determination to withdraw a proposed rule under subparagraph (B)(i) on the basis of the petition.

``(D) Failure to petition for a hearing under this paragraph shall not preclude judicial review of any claim based on the Information Quality Act under chapter 7 of this title.

``(e) Hearings for High-Impact Rules.--Following notice of a proposed rule making, receipt of comments on the proposed rule, and any hearing held under subsection (d)(4), and before adoption of any high-impact rule, the agency shall hold a hearing in accordance with sections 556 and 557, unless such hearing is waived by all participants in the rule making other than the agency. The agency shall provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at such hearing. The hearing shall

be limited to the following issues of fact, except that participants at the hearing other than the agency may waive determination of any such issue:

``(1) Whether the agency's asserted factual predicate for the rule is supported by the evidence.

``(2) Whether there is an alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the proposed rule.

``(3) If there is more than one alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost than the proposed rule, which alternative would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at the lowest cost.

``(4) Whether, if the agency proposes to adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), the additional benefits of the more costly rule exceed the additional costs of the more costly rule.

``(5) Whether the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule meets the requirements of the Information Quality Act.

``(6) Upon petition by an interested person who has participated in the rule making, other issues relevant to the rule making, unless the agency determines that consideration of the issues at the hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the nature of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. An agency shall grant or deny a petition under this paragraph within 30 days of its receipt of the petition.

No later than 45 days before any hearing held under this subsection or sections 556 and 557, the agency shall publish in the Federal Register a notice specifying the proposed rule to be considered at such hearing, the issues to be considered at the hearing, and the time and place for such hearing, except that such notice may be issued not later than 15 days before a hearing held under subsection (d)(4)(B).

``(f) Final Rules.--(1) The agency shall adopt a rule only following consultation with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to facilitate compliance with applicable rule making requirements.

``(2) The agency shall adopt a rule only on the basis of the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other evidence and information concerning the need for, consequences of, and alternatives to the rule.

``(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the agency shall adopt the least costly rule considered during the rule making (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) that meets relevant statutory objectives.

``(B) The agency may adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives only if the additional benefits of the more costly rule justify its additional costs and only if the agency explains its reason for doing so based on interests of public health, safety or welfare that are clearly within the scope of the statutory provision authorizing the rule.

``(4) When it adopts a final rule, the agency shall publish a notice of final rule making. The notice shall include--

``(A) a concise, general statement of the rule's basis and purpose;

``(B) the agency's reasoned final determination of need for a rule to address the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, including a statement of whether a rule is required by statute and a summary of any final risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency;

``(C) the agency's reasoned final determination that the benefits of the rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the rule's costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(D) the agency's reasoned final determination not to adopt any of the alternatives to the proposed rule considered by the agency during the rule making, including--

``(i) the agency's reasoned final determination that no alternative considered achieved the relevant statutory objectives with lower costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the rule; or

``(ii) the agency's reasoned determination that its adoption of a more costly rule complies with subsection (f)(3)(B);

``(E) the agency's reasoned final determination--

``(i) that existing rules have not created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule; or

``(ii) that existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, and, if so--

``(I) why amendment or rescission of such existing rules is not alone sufficient to respond to the problem; and

``(II) whether and how the agency intends to amend or rescind the existing rule separate from adoption of the rule;

``(F) the agency's reasoned final determination that the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the rule complies with the Information Quality Act;

``(G) the agency's reasoned final determination that the rule meets the objectives that the agency identified in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other objectives are more appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the rule meets those objectives;

``(H) the agency's reasoned final determination that it did not deviate from the metrics the agency included in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other metrics are more [Page: H259]

appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the agency did not deviate from those metrics;

``(I)(i) for any major rule, high-impact rule, or negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, the agency's plan for review of the rule no less than every ten years to determine whether, based upon evidence, there remains a need for the rule, whether the rule is in fact achieving statutory objectives, whether the rule's benefits continue to justify its costs, and whether the rule can be modified or rescinded to reduce costs while continuing to achieve statutory objectives; and

``(ii) review of a rule under a plan required by clause (i) of this subparagraph shall take into account the factors and criteria set forth in subsections (b) through (f) of section 553 of this title; and

``(J) for any negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, a statement that the head of the agency that made the rule approved the rule knowing about the findings and determination of the agency or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that qualified the rule as a negative impact on jobs and wages rule.

All information considered by the agency in connection with its adoption of the rule, and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the rule and made accessible to the public for the public's use no later than when the rule is adopted.

``(g) Exceptions From Notice and Hearing Requirements.--(1) Except when notice or hearing is required by statute, the following do not apply to interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice:

``(A) Subsections (c) through (e).

``(B) Paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (f).

``(C) Subparagraphs (B) through (H) of subsection (f)(4).

``(2)(A) When the agency for good cause, based upon evidence, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section before the issuance of an interim rule is impracticable or contrary to the public interest, including interests of national security, such subsections or requirements to render final determinations shall

not apply to the agency's adoption of an interim rule.

``(B) If, following compliance with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the agency adopts an interim rule, it shall commence proceedings that comply fully with subsections (d) through (f) of this section immediately upon publication of the interim rule, shall treat the publication of the interim rule as publication of a notice of proposed rule making and shall not be required to issue supplemental notice other than to complete full compliance with subsection (d). No less than 270 days from publication

of the interim rule (or 18 months in the case of a major rule or high-impact rule), the agency shall complete rule making under subsections (d) through (f) of this subsection and take final action to adopt a final rule or rescind the interim rule. If the agency fails to take timely final action, the interim rule will cease to have the effect of law.

``(C) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under chapter 7 of this title of the agency's determination to adopt such interim rule. The record on such review shall include all documents and information considered by the agency and

any additional information presented by a party that the court determines necessary to consider to assure justice.

``(3) When the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are unnecessary, including because agency rule making is undertaken only to correct a de minimis technical or clerical error in a previously issued rule or for other noncontroversial purposes, the agency may publish a rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), (e), or (f)(1)-(3) and (f)(4)(B)-(F). If the agency

receives significant adverse comment within 60 days after publication of the rule, it shall treat the notice of the rule as a notice of proposed rule making and complete rule making in compliance with subsections (d) and (f).

``(h) Additional Requirements for Hearings.--When a hearing is required under subsection (e) or is otherwise required by statute or at the agency's discretion before adoption of a rule, the agency shall comply with the requirements of sections 556 and 557 in addition to the requirements of subsection (f) in adopting the rule and in providing notice of the rule's adoption.

``(i) Date of Publication of Rule.--The required publication or service of a substantive final or interim rule shall be made not less than 30 days before the effective date of the rule, except--

``(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;

``(2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or

``(3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

``(j) Right To Petition.--Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

``(k) Rule Making Guidelines.--(1)(A) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall establish guidelines for the assessment, including quantitative and qualitative assessment, of the costs and benefits of proposed and final rules and other economic issues or issues related to risk that are relevant to rule making under this title. The rigor of cost-benefit analysis required by such guidelines shall be commensurate, in the Administrator's determination,

with the economic impact of the rule.

``(B) To ensure that agencies use the best available techniques to quantify and evaluate anticipated present and future benefits, costs, other economic issues, and risks as accurately as possible, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall regularly update guidelines established under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

``(2) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall also issue guidelines to promote coordination, simplification and harmonization of agency rules during the rule making process and otherwise. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids regulations that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, its other regulations and those of other Federal agencies and drafts its regulations to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing

the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(3) To ensure consistency in Federal rule making, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall--

``(A) issue guidelines and otherwise take action to ensure that rule makings conducted in whole or in part under procedures specified in provisions of law other than those of subchapter II of this title conform to the fullest extent allowed by law with the procedures set forth in section 553 of this title; and

``(B) issue guidelines for the conduct of hearings under subsections 553(d)(4) and 553(e) of this section, including to assure a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination. Each agency shall adopt regulations for the conduct of hearings consistent with the guidelines issued under this subparagraph.

``(4) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall issue guidelines pursuant to the Information Quality Act to apply in rule making proceedings under sections 553, 556, and 557 of this title. In all cases, such guidelines, and the Administrator's specific determinations regarding agency compliance with such guidelines, shall be entitled to judicial deference.

``(l) Inclusion in the Record of Certain Documents and Information.--The agency shall include in the record for a rule making, and shall make available by electronic means and otherwise, all documents and information prepared or considered by the agency during the proceeding, including, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, documents and information communicated by that Office during consultation with the Agency.

``(m) Monetary Policy Exemption.--Nothing in subsection (b)(6), subparagraphs (F) and (G) of subsection (d)(1), subsection (e), subsection (f)(3), and subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (f)(5) shall apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 4. AGENCY GUIDANCE; PROCEDURES TO ISSUE MAJOR GUIDANCE; PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GUIDELINES FOR ISSUANCE OF GUIDANCE.

(a) In General.--Chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 553 the following new section:``§553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance

``(a) Before issuing any major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, an agency shall--

``(1) make and document a reasoned determination that--

``(A) assures that such guidance is understandable and complies with relevant statutory objectives and regulatory provisions (including any statutory deadlines for agency action);

``(B) summarizes the evidence and data on which the agency will base the guidance;

``(C) identifies the costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) of conduct conforming to such guidance and assures that such benefits justify such costs; and

``(D) describes alternatives to such guidance and their costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) and explains why the agency rejected those alternatives; and

``(2) confer with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the issuance of such guidance to assure that the guidance is reasonable, understandable, consistent with relevant statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements or [Page: H260]

practices of other agencies, does not produce costs that are unjustified by the guidance's benefits, and is otherwise appropriate.

Upon issuing major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the agency shall publish the documentation required by subparagraph (1) by electronic means and otherwise.

``(b) Agency guidance--

``(1) is not legally binding and may not be relied upon by an agency as legal grounds for agency action;

``(2) shall state in a plain, prominent and permanent manner that it is not legally binding; and

``(3) shall, at the time it is issued or upon request, be made available by the issuing agency to interested persons and the public by electronic means and otherwise.

Agencies shall avoid the issuance of guidance that is inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the agency's governing statutes or regulations, with the goal of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(c) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall have authority to issue guidelines for use by the agencies in the issuance of major guidance and other guidance. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids issuing guidance documents that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the law, its other regulations, or the regulations of other Federal agencies and drafts its guidance documents to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal

of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 553 the following new item:

``553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance.''.

SEC. 5. HEARINGS; PRESIDING EMPLOYEES; POWERS AND DUTIES; BURDEN OF PROOF; EVIDENCE; RECORD AS BASIS OF DECISION.

Section 556 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:

``(e)(1) The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision in accordance with section 557 and shall be made available to the parties and the public by electronic means and, upon payment of lawfully prescribed costs, otherwise. When an agency decision rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, a party is entitled, on timely request, to an opportunity

to show the contrary.

``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a proceeding held under this section pursuant to section 553(d)(4) or 553(e), the record for decision shall also include any information that is part of the record of proceedings under section 553.

``(f) When an agency conducts rule making under this section and section 557 directly after concluding proceedings upon an advance notice of proposed rule making under section 553(c), the matters to be considered and determinations to be made shall include, among other relevant matters and determinations, the matters and determinations described in subsections (b) and (f) of section 553.

``(g) Upon receipt of a petition for a hearing under this section, the agency shall grant the petition in the case of any major rule, unless the agency reasonably determines that a hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. The agency shall publish its decision to grant or deny the petition when it renders the decision, including an explanation of the grounds for decision. The information

contained in the petition shall in all cases be included in the administrative record. This subsection shall not apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS REVIEWABLE.

Section 704 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking ``Agency action made'' and inserting ``(a) Agency action made''; and

(2) by adding at the end the following: ``Denial by an agency of a correction request or, where administrative appeal is provided for, denial of an appeal, under an administrative mechanism described in subsection (b)(2)(B) of the Information Quality Act, or the failure of an agency within 90 days to grant or deny such request or appeal, shall be final action for purposes of this section.

``(b) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under this chapter of the agency's determination to adopt such rule on an interim basis. Review shall be limited to whether the agency abused

its discretion to adopt the interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or without rendering final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553.''.

SEC. 7. SCOPE OF REVIEW.

Section 706 of title 5, United States Code is amended--

(1) by striking ``To the extent necessary'' and inserting ``(a) To the extent necessary'';

(2) in paragraph (2)(A) of subsection (a) (as designated by paragraph (1) of this section), by inserting after ``in accordance with law'' the following: ``(including the Information Quality Act)''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(b) The court shall not defer to the agency's--

``(1) interpretation of an agency rule if the agency did not comply with the procedures of section 553 or sections 556-557 of chapter 5 of this title to issue the interpretation;

``(2) determination of the costs and benefits or other economic or risk assessment of the action, if the agency failed to conform to guidelines on such determinations and assessments established by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under section 553(k);

``(3) determinations made in the adoption of an interim rule; or

``(4) guidance.

``(c) The court shall review agency denials of petitions under section 553(e)(6) or any other petition for a hearing under sections 556 and 557 for abuse of agency discretion.''.

SEC. 8. ADDED DEFINITION.

Section 701(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end, and inserting ``; and''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(3) `substantial evidence' means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion in light of the record considered as a whole, taking into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from the weight of the evidence relied upon by the agency to support its decision.''.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made by this Act to--

(1) sections 553, 556, and 704 of title 5, United States Code;

(2) subsection (b) of section 701 of such title;

(3) paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 706(b) of such title; and

(4) subsection (c) of section 706 of such title, shall not apply to any rule makings pending or completed on the date of enactment of this Act.

The CHAIR. No amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in part A of House Report 114-2. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR.

MCKINLEY

The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part A of House Report 114-2.

3:43 PM EST

Tom Marino, R-PA 10th

Mr. MARINO. I thank the chairman.

Mr. Chairman, right now, we have the worst of both worlds: more regulation and less scrutiny.

In looking at a recent 7-year period, the Government Accountability Office found that 35 percent of major rules were issued without the opportunity for public comment. The GAO also found a lack of responsiveness. In the case of one ObamaCare regulation--one--4,627 comments were received, but no responses were issued.

Regulatory costs disproportionately hit small manufacturers, which incur regulatory costs of $34,671 per year, per employee--more than three times that of the average American economy. Our energy boom is a perfect example of failed regulatory policy.

Oil and natural gas resources do not know Federal versus State boundaries, but it takes 10 times as long for the Federal Government to issue a permit as it does the States. As a result, oil and gas production is going up sharply on State lands and down on Federal lands.

Finally, ObamaCare is an epicenter of red tape. In its first 4 years, ObamaCare's effects on small business amounted to $1.9 billion in regulatory costs and in 11.3 million hours of compliance. This amounts to a regulatory tax of 3 to 5 percent. Again, this is the cost of just one law's regulations.

[Time: 15:45]

3:43 PM EST

Tom Marino, R-PA 10th

Mr. MARINO. I thank the chairman.

Mr. Chairman, right now, we have the worst of both worlds: more regulation and less scrutiny.

In looking at a recent 7-year period, the Government Accountability Office found that 35 percent of major rules were issued without the opportunity for public comment. The GAO also found a lack of responsiveness. In the case of one ObamaCare regulation--one--4,627 comments were received, but no responses were issued.

Regulatory costs disproportionately hit small manufacturers, which incur regulatory costs of $34,671 per year, per employee--more than three times that of the average American economy. Our energy boom is a perfect example of failed regulatory policy.

Oil and natural gas resources do not know Federal versus State boundaries, but it takes 10 times as long for the Federal Government to issue a permit as it does the States. As a result, oil and gas production is going up sharply on State lands and down on Federal lands.

Finally, ObamaCare is an epicenter of red tape. In its first 4 years, ObamaCare's effects on small business amounted to $1.9 billion in regulatory costs and in 11.3 million hours of compliance. This amounts to a regulatory tax of 3 to 5 percent. Again, this is the cost of just one law's regulations.

[Time: 15:45]

3:44 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time and urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation which will help to rein in the excessive power of the executive branch of the Federal Government and provide for common sense being brought to the writing of Federal Government regulations, saving American taxpayers and consumers billions if not trillions of dollars. It is badly needed. It is long overdue.

I urge my colleagues to support the legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State 2014 Edition

COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY(By Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.)

In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported outlays for fiscal year (FY) 2013 of $3.454 trillion and projected spending for FY 2014 at $3.543 trillion. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's federal budget proposal for FY 2015 seeks $3.901 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. In the previous fiscal year, the president had proposed outlays of $3.778 trillion. Despite high debt and deficits, we have been unable to avoid entering the era of $4 trillion

in annual spending.

We experienced trillion dollar deficits between 2009 and 2012, and CBO projects that deficits will exceed $1 trillion again by FY 2022. Trillion dollar deficits were once unimaginable. Such sums signified the level of budgets themselves, not of shortfalls. Yet at no point is spending projected to balance in the coming decade. President Obama's 2015 budget projects deficits that are smaller than recent heights--with 2014's claimed $649 billion to fall to $413 billion in 2018--before heading back

into the CBO-predicted stratosphere.

Many other countries' government outlays make up a greater share of their national output, compared with 20 percent for the U.S. government, but in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest government on the planet. Only four other nations top $1 trillion in annual government revenues, and none but the United States collects more than $2 trillion.

REGULATION: THE HIDDEN TAX

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government's reach extends well beyond Washington's taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions--perhaps trillions--of dollars annually in addition to the official federal outlays that dominate policy debate.

Firms generally pass the costs of some taxes along to consumers. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices that consumers pay and out of the wages workers [Page: H256]

earn. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist about scores of regulations and about the agencies that issue them, as well

as data about estimates of regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That compilation is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, highlights of which follow:

Among the five all-time-high Federal Register page counts, four have occurred under President Obama.

The annual outflow of more than 3,500 final rules--sometimes far above that level--means that 87,282 rules have been issued since 1993.

There were 51 rules for every law in 2013. The ``Unconstitutionality Index,'' the ratio of regulations issued by agencies to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president, stood at 51 for 2013. Specifically, 72 laws were passed in calendar year 2013, whereas 3,659 rules were issued. This disparity highlights the excessive delegation of lawmaking power to unelected agency officials.

This author's working paper, ``Tip of the Costberg,'' which is largely based on federal government data, estimates regulatory compliance and economic impacts at $1.863 trillion nnually.

U.S. households ``pay'' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax, thereby ``absorbing'' 23 percent of the average income of $65,596, and ``pay'' 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. The ``tax'' exceeds every item in the budget except housing. More is ``spent'' on embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel and services, and savings.

The estimated cost of regulation exceeds half the level of the federal budget itself. Regulatory costs of $1.863 trillion amount to 11.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which was estimated at $16.797 trillion in 2013 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

When regulatory costs are combined with federal FY 2013 outlays of $3.454 trillion, the federal government's share of the entire economy now reaches 31 percent. The regulatory ``hidden tax'' surpasses the income tax. Regulatory compliance costs exceed the 2013 estimated total individual income tax revenues of $1.234 trillion.

Regulatory compliance costs vastly exceed the 2013 estimated corporate income tax revenues of $288 billion and approach corporate pretax profits of $2.19 trillion.

If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the 10th largest economy, ranked between India and Italy.

U.S. regulatory costs exceed the GDPs of Australia and Canada, the highest-income nations among the countries ranked most free in the annual Index of Economic Freedom and Economic Freedom of the World reports.

The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., jointly estimate that agencies spent $57.3 billion (on budget) to administer and police the federal regulatory enterprise. Adding the $1.863 trillion in off-budget compliance costs brings the total regulatory enterprise to $1.92 trillion.

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest level in history.

Federal Register pages devoted specifically to final rules rose to a record high of 26,417.

The 2013 Federal Register contained 3,659 final rules and 2,594 proposed rules.

Since the nation's founding, more than 15,177 executive orders have been issued. President Obama issued 181 as of the end of 2013.

President George W Bush averaged 63 major rules annually during his eight years in office; Obama's five years so far have averaged 81.

Although there are over 3,500 rules annually, public notices in the Federal Register exceed 24,000 annually, with uncounted ``guidance documents'' among them. There were 24,261 notices in 2013 and 477,929 since 1995.

According to the fall 2013 ``Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions'' (which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation), 63 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,305 regulations at various stages of implementation.

Of the 3,305 regulations in the pipeline, 191 are ``economically significant'' rules, which the federal government defines as imposing at least $100 million in annual costs. Assuming that those rulemakings are primarily regulatory implies roughly $19 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

Of the 3,305 regulations now in the works, 669 affect small businesses. Of those, 391 required a regulatory flexibility analysis: 278 were otherwise noted by agencies to affect small businesses.

The five most active rule-producing agencies--the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, and Health and Human Services--account for 1,451 rules, or 44 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was formerly consistently in the top five, is now sixth, but adding its 179 rules brings the total from the top six rulemaking agencies to 1,630 rules, or 49.3 percent of all federal rules.

The most recent Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation of the overall U.S. federal regulatory enterprise estimated annual regulatory compliance costs of $1.752 trillion in 2008. Earlier SBA reports pegged costs at $1.1 trillion in 2005 and at $843 billion in 2001. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) agreed with those figures at the time. Meanwhile, a subset of 115 selected major rules reviewed during 2002-2012 by the OMB notes cumulative annual costs of between $57 billion and $84

billion.

The short-lived series of budget surpluses from 1998 to 2001--the first since 1969--seems like ancient history in today's debt and deficit-drenched policy setting, as the CBO projects annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decade. When it comes to stimulating a limping economy, reducing deficits and relieving regulatory burdens are key to the nation's economic health. Otherwise, budgetary pressures can incentivize lawmakers to impose off-budget regulations on the private

sector, rather than add to unpopular deficit spending. A new government program--for example, job training--would require either increasing government spending or imposing new regulations requiring such training. Unlike on-budget spending, the latter regulatory costs remain largely hidden from public view, which makes regulation increasingly attractive to lawmakers.

THE DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IMPERATIVES

Cost-benefit analysis at the agency level is already neglected; thus, at minimum, some third-party review is needed. Like federal spending, regulations and their costs should be tracked and disclosed annually. Then, periodic housecleaning should be performed.

A problem with cost-benefit analysis is that it largely relies on agency self-policing. Having agencies audit their own rules is like asking students to grade their own exams. Regulators are disinclined to emphasize when a rule's benefits do not justify the costs involved. In fact, one could expect new and dubious categories of benefits to emerge to justify an agency's rulemaking activity.

A major source of overregulation is the systematic overdelegation of rulemaking power to agencies. Requiring expedited votes on economically significant or controversial agency rules before they become binding would reestablish congressional accountability and would help affirm a principle of ``no regulation without representation.''

Openness about regulatory facts and figures can be bolstered through federal ``regulatory report cards,'' similar to the presentation in Ten Thousand Commandments. These could be officially issued each year to distill information for the public and policy makers about the scope of the regulatory state.

The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.

Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 185

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

Section 551 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (13), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (14), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(15) `major rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(16) `high-impact rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose an annual cost on the economy of $1,000,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(17) `negative-impact on jobs and wages rule' means any rule that the agency that made the rule or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to--

``(A) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(B) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, [Page: H257]

reduce average weekly wages for employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(C) in any industry area (as such term is defined in the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) in which the most recent annual unemployment rate for the industry area is greater than 5 percent, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Current Population Survey, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation; or

``(D) in any industry area in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in the Occupational Employment Statistics program that the employment level will decrease by 1 percent or more, further reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation;

``(18) `guidance' means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue;

``(19) `major guidance' means guidance that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finds is likely to lead to--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(20) the `Information Quality Act' means section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, and guidelines issued by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or other agencies pursuant to the Act; and

``(21) the `Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' means the office established under section 3503 of chapter 35 of title 44 and any successor to that office.''.

SEC. 3. RULE MAKING.

(a) Section 553(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking ``(a) This section applies'' and inserting ``(a) Applicability.--This section applies''.

(b) Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (b) through (e) and inserting the following:

``(b) Rule Making Considerations.--In a rule making, an agency shall make all preliminary and final factual determinations based on evidence and consider, in addition to other applicable considerations, the following:

``(1) The legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making.

``(2) Other statutory considerations applicable to whether the agency can or should propose a rule or undertake other agency action.

``(3) The specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule (including the degree and nature of risks the problem poses and the priority of addressing those risks compared to other matters or activities within the agency's jurisdiction), whether the problem warrants new agency action, and the countervailing risks that may be posed by alternatives for new agency action.

``(4) Whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency may address with a rule and whether those rules could be amended or rescinded to address the problem in whole or part.

``(5) Any reasonable alternatives for a new rule or other response identified by the agency or interested persons, including not only responses that mandate particular conduct or manners of compliance, but also--

``(A) the alternative of no Federal response;

``(B) amending or rescinding existing rules;

``(C) potential regional, State, local, or tribal regulatory action or other responses that could be taken in lieu of agency action; and

``(D) potential responses that--

``(i) specify performance objectives rather than conduct or manners of compliance;

``(ii) establish economic incentives to encourage desired behavior;

``(iii) provide information upon which choices can be made by the public; or

``(iv) incorporate other innovative alternatives rather than agency actions that specify conduct or manners of compliance.

``(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law--

``(A) the potential costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses considered under section 553(b)(5), including direct, indirect, and cumulative costs and benefits and estimated impacts on jobs (including an estimate of the net gain or loss in domestic jobs), wages, economic growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness;

``(B) means to increase the cost-effectiveness of any Federal response; and

``(C) incentives for innovation, consistency, predictability, lower costs of enforcement and compliance (to government entities, regulated entities, and the public), and flexibility.

``(c) Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Major Rules, High-Impact Rules, Negative-Impact on Jobs and Wages Rules, and Rules Involving Novel Legal or Policy Issues.--In the case of a rule making for a major rule, a high-impact rule, a negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, or a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, not later than 90 days before a notice of proposed rule making is published in the Federal Register, an agency shall

publish advance notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register. In publishing such advance notice, the agency shall--

``(1) include a written statement identifying, at a minimum--

``(A) the nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule, including data and other evidence and information on which the agency expects to rely for the proposed rule;

``(B) the legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making;

``(C) preliminary information available to the agency concerning the other considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(D) in the case of a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the nature of and potential reasons to adopt the novel legal or policy position upon which the agency may base a proposed rule; and

``(E) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(2) solicit written data, views or argument from interested persons concerning the information and issues addressed in the advance notice; and

``(3) provide for a period of not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit such written data, views, or argument to the agency.

``(d) Notices of Proposed Rule Making; Determinations of Other Agency Course.--(1) Before it determines to propose a rule, and following completion of procedures under subsection (c), if applicable, the agency shall consult with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. If the agency thereafter determines to propose a rule, the agency shall publish a notice of proposed rule making, which shall include--

``(A) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings;

``(B) reference to the legal authority under which the rule is proposed;

``(C) the terms of the proposed rule;

``(D) a description of information known to the agency on the subject and issues of the proposed rule, including but not limited to--

``(i) a summary of information known to the agency concerning the considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(ii) a summary of additional information the agency provided to and obtained from interested persons under subsection (c);

``(iii) a summary of any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis performed by the agency; and

``(iv) information specifically identifying all data, studies, models, and other evidence or information considered or used by the agency in connection with its determination to propose the rule;

``(E)(i) a reasoned preliminary determination of need for the rule based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(ii) an additional statement of whether a rule is required by statute; and

``(iii) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(F) a reasoned preliminary determination that the benefits of the proposed rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the costs of the proposed rule (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(G) a discussion of--

``(i) the alternatives to the proposed rule, and other alternative responses, considered by the agency under subsection (b);

``(ii) the costs and benefits of those alternatives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(iii) whether those alternatives meet relevant statutory objectives; and

``(iv) why the agency did not propose any of those alternatives; and

``(H)(i) a statement of whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the proposed rule; and

``(ii) if so, whether or not the agency proposes to amend or rescind any such rules, and why.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination to propose the rule, including any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information prepared or described by the agency under subparagraph (D) and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by [Page:

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that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the proposed rule and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of proposed rule making is published.

``(2)(A) If the agency undertakes procedures under subsection (c) and determines thereafter not to propose a rule, the agency shall, following consultation with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish a notice of determination of other agency course. A notice of determination of other agency course shall include information required by paragraph (1)(D) to be included in a notice of proposed rule making and a description of the alternative response the agency determined to adopt.

``(B) If in its determination of other agency course the agency makes a determination to amend or rescind an existing rule, the agency need not undertake additional proceedings under subsection (c) before it publishes a notice of proposed rule making to amend or rescind the existing rule.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination of other agency course, including but not limited to any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information that would be required to be prepared or described by the agency under paragraph (1)(D) if the agency had determined to publish a notice of proposed rule making and, at the discretion of the President

or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the determination and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of determination is published.

``(3) After notice of proposed rule making required by this section, the agency shall provide interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except that--

``(A) if a hearing is required under paragraph (4)(B) or subsection (e), opportunity for oral presentation shall be provided pursuant to that requirement; or

``(B) when other than under subsection (e) of this section rules are required by statute or at the discretion of the agency to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, sections 556 and 557 shall apply, and paragraph (4), the requirements of subsection (e) to receive comment outside of the procedures of sections 556 and 557, and the petition procedures of subsection (e)(6) shall not apply.

The agency shall provide not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit written data, views, or argument (or 120 days in the case of a proposed major or high-impact rule).

``(4)(A) Within 30 days of publication of notice of proposed rule making, a member of the public may petition for a hearing in accordance with section 556 to determine whether any evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act.

``(B)(i) The agency may, upon review of the petition, determine without further process to exclude from the rule making the evidence or other information that is the subject of the petition and, if appropriate, withdraw the proposed rule. The agency shall promptly publish any such determination.

``(ii) If the agency does not resolve the petition under the procedures of clause (i), it shall grant any such petition that presents a prima facie case that evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act, hold the requested hearing not later than 30 days after receipt of the petition, provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at the hearing, and decide the issues presented by the petition not later than

60 days after receipt of the petition. The agency may deny any petition that it determines does not present such a prima facie case.

``(C) There shall be no judicial review of the agency's disposition of issues considered and decided or determined under subparagraph (B)(ii) until judicial review of the agency's final action. There shall be no judicial review of an agency's determination to withdraw a proposed rule under subparagraph (B)(i) on the basis of the petition.

``(D) Failure to petition for a hearing under this paragraph shall not preclude judicial review of any claim based on the Information Quality Act under chapter 7 of this title.

``(e) Hearings for High-Impact Rules.--Following notice of a proposed rule making, receipt of comments on the proposed rule, and any hearing held under subsection (d)(4), and before adoption of any high-impact rule, the agency shall hold a hearing in accordance with sections 556 and 557, unless such hearing is waived by all participants in the rule making other than the agency. The agency shall provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at such hearing. The hearing shall

be limited to the following issues of fact, except that participants at the hearing other than the agency may waive determination of any such issue:

``(1) Whether the agency's asserted factual predicate for the rule is supported by the evidence.

``(2) Whether there is an alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the proposed rule.

``(3) If there is more than one alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost than the proposed rule, which alternative would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at the lowest cost.

``(4) Whether, if the agency proposes to adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), the additional benefits of the more costly rule exceed the additional costs of the more costly rule.

``(5) Whether the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule meets the requirements of the Information Quality Act.

``(6) Upon petition by an interested person who has participated in the rule making, other issues relevant to the rule making, unless the agency determines that consideration of the issues at the hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the nature of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. An agency shall grant or deny a petition under this paragraph within 30 days of its receipt of the petition.

No later than 45 days before any hearing held under this subsection or sections 556 and 557, the agency shall publish in the Federal Register a notice specifying the proposed rule to be considered at such hearing, the issues to be considered at the hearing, and the time and place for such hearing, except that such notice may be issued not later than 15 days before a hearing held under subsection (d)(4)(B).

``(f) Final Rules.--(1) The agency shall adopt a rule only following consultation with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to facilitate compliance with applicable rule making requirements.

``(2) The agency shall adopt a rule only on the basis of the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other evidence and information concerning the need for, consequences of, and alternatives to the rule.

``(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the agency shall adopt the least costly rule considered during the rule making (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) that meets relevant statutory objectives.

``(B) The agency may adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives only if the additional benefits of the more costly rule justify its additional costs and only if the agency explains its reason for doing so based on interests of public health, safety or welfare that are clearly within the scope of the statutory provision authorizing the rule.

``(4) When it adopts a final rule, the agency shall publish a notice of final rule making. The notice shall include--

``(A) a concise, general statement of the rule's basis and purpose;

``(B) the agency's reasoned final determination of need for a rule to address the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, including a statement of whether a rule is required by statute and a summary of any final risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency;

``(C) the agency's reasoned final determination that the benefits of the rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the rule's costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(D) the agency's reasoned final determination not to adopt any of the alternatives to the proposed rule considered by the agency during the rule making, including--

``(i) the agency's reasoned final determination that no alternative considered achieved the relevant statutory objectives with lower costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the rule; or

``(ii) the agency's reasoned determination that its adoption of a more costly rule complies with subsection (f)(3)(B);

``(E) the agency's reasoned final determination--

``(i) that existing rules have not created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule; or

``(ii) that existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, and, if so--

``(I) why amendment or rescission of such existing rules is not alone sufficient to respond to the problem; and

``(II) whether and how the agency intends to amend or rescind the existing rule separate from adoption of the rule;

``(F) the agency's reasoned final determination that the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the rule complies with the Information Quality Act;

``(G) the agency's reasoned final determination that the rule meets the objectives that the agency identified in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other objectives are more appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the rule meets those objectives;

``(H) the agency's reasoned final determination that it did not deviate from the metrics the agency included in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other metrics are more [Page: H259]

appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the agency did not deviate from those metrics;

``(I)(i) for any major rule, high-impact rule, or negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, the agency's plan for review of the rule no less than every ten years to determine whether, based upon evidence, there remains a need for the rule, whether the rule is in fact achieving statutory objectives, whether the rule's benefits continue to justify its costs, and whether the rule can be modified or rescinded to reduce costs while continuing to achieve statutory objectives; and

``(ii) review of a rule under a plan required by clause (i) of this subparagraph shall take into account the factors and criteria set forth in subsections (b) through (f) of section 553 of this title; and

``(J) for any negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, a statement that the head of the agency that made the rule approved the rule knowing about the findings and determination of the agency or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that qualified the rule as a negative impact on jobs and wages rule.

All information considered by the agency in connection with its adoption of the rule, and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the rule and made accessible to the public for the public's use no later than when the rule is adopted.

``(g) Exceptions From Notice and Hearing Requirements.--(1) Except when notice or hearing is required by statute, the following do not apply to interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice:

``(A) Subsections (c) through (e).

``(B) Paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (f).

``(C) Subparagraphs (B) through (H) of subsection (f)(4).

``(2)(A) When the agency for good cause, based upon evidence, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section before the issuance of an interim rule is impracticable or contrary to the public interest, including interests of national security, such subsections or requirements to render final determinations shall

not apply to the agency's adoption of an interim rule.

``(B) If, following compliance with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the agency adopts an interim rule, it shall commence proceedings that comply fully with subsections (d) through (f) of this section immediately upon publication of the interim rule, shall treat the publication of the interim rule as publication of a notice of proposed rule making and shall not be required to issue supplemental notice other than to complete full compliance with subsection (d). No less than 270 days from publication

of the interim rule (or 18 months in the case of a major rule or high-impact rule), the agency shall complete rule making under subsections (d) through (f) of this subsection and take final action to adopt a final rule or rescind the interim rule. If the agency fails to take timely final action, the interim rule will cease to have the effect of law.

``(C) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under chapter 7 of this title of the agency's determination to adopt such interim rule. The record on such review shall include all documents and information considered by the agency and

any additional information presented by a party that the court determines necessary to consider to assure justice.

``(3) When the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are unnecessary, including because agency rule making is undertaken only to correct a de minimis technical or clerical error in a previously issued rule or for other noncontroversial purposes, the agency may publish a rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), (e), or (f)(1)-(3) and (f)(4)(B)-(F). If the agency

receives significant adverse comment within 60 days after publication of the rule, it shall treat the notice of the rule as a notice of proposed rule making and complete rule making in compliance with subsections (d) and (f).

``(h) Additional Requirements for Hearings.--When a hearing is required under subsection (e) or is otherwise required by statute or at the agency's discretion before adoption of a rule, the agency shall comply with the requirements of sections 556 and 557 in addition to the requirements of subsection (f) in adopting the rule and in providing notice of the rule's adoption.

``(i) Date of Publication of Rule.--The required publication or service of a substantive final or interim rule shall be made not less than 30 days before the effective date of the rule, except--

``(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;

``(2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or

``(3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

``(j) Right To Petition.--Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

``(k) Rule Making Guidelines.--(1)(A) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall establish guidelines for the assessment, including quantitative and qualitative assessment, of the costs and benefits of proposed and final rules and other economic issues or issues related to risk that are relevant to rule making under this title. The rigor of cost-benefit analysis required by such guidelines shall be commensurate, in the Administrator's determination,

with the economic impact of the rule.

``(B) To ensure that agencies use the best available techniques to quantify and evaluate anticipated present and future benefits, costs, other economic issues, and risks as accurately as possible, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall regularly update guidelines established under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

``(2) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall also issue guidelines to promote coordination, simplification and harmonization of agency rules during the rule making process and otherwise. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids regulations that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, its other regulations and those of other Federal agencies and drafts its regulations to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing

the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(3) To ensure consistency in Federal rule making, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall--

``(A) issue guidelines and otherwise take action to ensure that rule makings conducted in whole or in part under procedures specified in provisions of law other than those of subchapter II of this title conform to the fullest extent allowed by law with the procedures set forth in section 553 of this title; and

``(B) issue guidelines for the conduct of hearings under subsections 553(d)(4) and 553(e) of this section, including to assure a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination. Each agency shall adopt regulations for the conduct of hearings consistent with the guidelines issued under this subparagraph.

``(4) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall issue guidelines pursuant to the Information Quality Act to apply in rule making proceedings under sections 553, 556, and 557 of this title. In all cases, such guidelines, and the Administrator's specific determinations regarding agency compliance with such guidelines, shall be entitled to judicial deference.

``(l) Inclusion in the Record of Certain Documents and Information.--The agency shall include in the record for a rule making, and shall make available by electronic means and otherwise, all documents and information prepared or considered by the agency during the proceeding, including, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, documents and information communicated by that Office during consultation with the Agency.

``(m) Monetary Policy Exemption.--Nothing in subsection (b)(6), subparagraphs (F) and (G) of subsection (d)(1), subsection (e), subsection (f)(3), and subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (f)(5) shall apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 4. AGENCY GUIDANCE; PROCEDURES TO ISSUE MAJOR GUIDANCE; PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GUIDELINES FOR ISSUANCE OF GUIDANCE.

(a) In General.--Chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 553 the following new section:``§553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance

``(a) Before issuing any major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, an agency shall--

``(1) make and document a reasoned determination that--

``(A) assures that such guidance is understandable and complies with relevant statutory objectives and regulatory provisions (including any statutory deadlines for agency action);

``(B) summarizes the evidence and data on which the agency will base the guidance;

``(C) identifies the costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) of conduct conforming to such guidance and assures that such benefits justify such costs; and

``(D) describes alternatives to such guidance and their costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) and explains why the agency rejected those alternatives; and

``(2) confer with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the issuance of such guidance to assure that the guidance is reasonable, understandable, consistent with relevant statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements or [Page: H260]

practices of other agencies, does not produce costs that are unjustified by the guidance's benefits, and is otherwise appropriate.

Upon issuing major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the agency shall publish the documentation required by subparagraph (1) by electronic means and otherwise.

``(b) Agency guidance--

``(1) is not legally binding and may not be relied upon by an agency as legal grounds for agency action;

``(2) shall state in a plain, prominent and permanent manner that it is not legally binding; and

``(3) shall, at the time it is issued or upon request, be made available by the issuing agency to interested persons and the public by electronic means and otherwise.

Agencies shall avoid the issuance of guidance that is inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the agency's governing statutes or regulations, with the goal of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(c) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall have authority to issue guidelines for use by the agencies in the issuance of major guidance and other guidance. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids issuing guidance documents that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the law, its other regulations, or the regulations of other Federal agencies and drafts its guidance documents to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal

of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 553 the following new item:

``553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance.''.

SEC. 5. HEARINGS; PRESIDING EMPLOYEES; POWERS AND DUTIES; BURDEN OF PROOF; EVIDENCE; RECORD AS BASIS OF DECISION.

Section 556 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:

``(e)(1) The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision in accordance with section 557 and shall be made available to the parties and the public by electronic means and, upon payment of lawfully prescribed costs, otherwise. When an agency decision rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, a party is entitled, on timely request, to an opportunity

to show the contrary.

``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a proceeding held under this section pursuant to section 553(d)(4) or 553(e), the record for decision shall also include any information that is part of the record of proceedings under section 553.

``(f) When an agency conducts rule making under this section and section 557 directly after concluding proceedings upon an advance notice of proposed rule making under section 553(c), the matters to be considered and determinations to be made shall include, among other relevant matters and determinations, the matters and determinations described in subsections (b) and (f) of section 553.

``(g) Upon receipt of a petition for a hearing under this section, the agency shall grant the petition in the case of any major rule, unless the agency reasonably determines that a hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. The agency shall publish its decision to grant or deny the petition when it renders the decision, including an explanation of the grounds for decision. The information

contained in the petition shall in all cases be included in the administrative record. This subsection shall not apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS REVIEWABLE.

Section 704 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking ``Agency action made'' and inserting ``(a) Agency action made''; and

(2) by adding at the end the following: ``Denial by an agency of a correction request or, where administrative appeal is provided for, denial of an appeal, under an administrative mechanism described in subsection (b)(2)(B) of the Information Quality Act, or the failure of an agency within 90 days to grant or deny such request or appeal, shall be final action for purposes of this section.

``(b) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under this chapter of the agency's determination to adopt such rule on an interim basis. Review shall be limited to whether the agency abused

its discretion to adopt the interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or without rendering final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553.''.

SEC. 7. SCOPE OF REVIEW.

Section 706 of title 5, United States Code is amended--

(1) by striking ``To the extent necessary'' and inserting ``(a) To the extent necessary'';

(2) in paragraph (2)(A) of subsection (a) (as designated by paragraph (1) of this section), by inserting after ``in accordance with law'' the following: ``(including the Information Quality Act)''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(b) The court shall not defer to the agency's--

``(1) interpretation of an agency rule if the agency did not comply with the procedures of section 553 or sections 556-557 of chapter 5 of this title to issue the interpretation;

``(2) determination of the costs and benefits or other economic or risk assessment of the action, if the agency failed to conform to guidelines on such determinations and assessments established by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under section 553(k);

``(3) determinations made in the adoption of an interim rule; or

``(4) guidance.

``(c) The court shall review agency denials of petitions under section 553(e)(6) or any other petition for a hearing under sections 556 and 557 for abuse of agency discretion.''.

SEC. 8. ADDED DEFINITION.

Section 701(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end, and inserting ``; and''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(3) `substantial evidence' means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion in light of the record considered as a whole, taking into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from the weight of the evidence relied upon by the agency to support its decision.''.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made by this Act to--

(1) sections 553, 556, and 704 of title 5, United States Code;

(2) subsection (b) of section 701 of such title;

(3) paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 706(b) of such title; and

(4) subsection (c) of section 706 of such title, shall not apply to any rule makings pending or completed on the date of enactment of this Act.

The CHAIR. No amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in part A of House Report 114-2. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR.

MCKINLEY

The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part A of House Report 114-2.

3:44 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time and urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation which will help to rein in the excessive power of the executive branch of the Federal Government and provide for common sense being brought to the writing of Federal Government regulations, saving American taxpayers and consumers billions if not trillions of dollars. It is badly needed. It is long overdue.

I urge my colleagues to support the legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State 2014 Edition

COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY(By Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.)

In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported outlays for fiscal year (FY) 2013 of $3.454 trillion and projected spending for FY 2014 at $3.543 trillion. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's federal budget proposal for FY 2015 seeks $3.901 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. In the previous fiscal year, the president had proposed outlays of $3.778 trillion. Despite high debt and deficits, we have been unable to avoid entering the era of $4 trillion

in annual spending.

We experienced trillion dollar deficits between 2009 and 2012, and CBO projects that deficits will exceed $1 trillion again by FY 2022. Trillion dollar deficits were once unimaginable. Such sums signified the level of budgets themselves, not of shortfalls. Yet at no point is spending projected to balance in the coming decade. President Obama's 2015 budget projects deficits that are smaller than recent heights--with 2014's claimed $649 billion to fall to $413 billion in 2018--before heading back

into the CBO-predicted stratosphere.

Many other countries' government outlays make up a greater share of their national output, compared with 20 percent for the U.S. government, but in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest government on the planet. Only four other nations top $1 trillion in annual government revenues, and none but the United States collects more than $2 trillion.

REGULATION: THE HIDDEN TAX

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government's reach extends well beyond Washington's taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions--perhaps trillions--of dollars annually in addition to the official federal outlays that dominate policy debate.

Firms generally pass the costs of some taxes along to consumers. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices that consumers pay and out of the wages workers [Page: H256]

earn. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist about scores of regulations and about the agencies that issue them, as well

as data about estimates of regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That compilation is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, highlights of which follow:

Among the five all-time-high Federal Register page counts, four have occurred under President Obama.

The annual outflow of more than 3,500 final rules--sometimes far above that level--means that 87,282 rules have been issued since 1993.

There were 51 rules for every law in 2013. The ``Unconstitutionality Index,'' the ratio of regulations issued by agencies to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president, stood at 51 for 2013. Specifically, 72 laws were passed in calendar year 2013, whereas 3,659 rules were issued. This disparity highlights the excessive delegation of lawmaking power to unelected agency officials.

This author's working paper, ``Tip of the Costberg,'' which is largely based on federal government data, estimates regulatory compliance and economic impacts at $1.863 trillion nnually.

U.S. households ``pay'' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax, thereby ``absorbing'' 23 percent of the average income of $65,596, and ``pay'' 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. The ``tax'' exceeds every item in the budget except housing. More is ``spent'' on embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel and services, and savings.

The estimated cost of regulation exceeds half the level of the federal budget itself. Regulatory costs of $1.863 trillion amount to 11.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), which was estimated at $16.797 trillion in 2013 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

When regulatory costs are combined with federal FY 2013 outlays of $3.454 trillion, the federal government's share of the entire economy now reaches 31 percent. The regulatory ``hidden tax'' surpasses the income tax. Regulatory compliance costs exceed the 2013 estimated total individual income tax revenues of $1.234 trillion.

Regulatory compliance costs vastly exceed the 2013 estimated corporate income tax revenues of $288 billion and approach corporate pretax profits of $2.19 trillion.

If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the 10th largest economy, ranked between India and Italy.

U.S. regulatory costs exceed the GDPs of Australia and Canada, the highest-income nations among the countries ranked most free in the annual Index of Economic Freedom and Economic Freedom of the World reports.

The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., jointly estimate that agencies spent $57.3 billion (on budget) to administer and police the federal regulatory enterprise. Adding the $1.863 trillion in off-budget compliance costs brings the total regulatory enterprise to $1.92 trillion.

The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest level in history.

Federal Register pages devoted specifically to final rules rose to a record high of 26,417.

The 2013 Federal Register contained 3,659 final rules and 2,594 proposed rules.

Since the nation's founding, more than 15,177 executive orders have been issued. President Obama issued 181 as of the end of 2013.

President George W Bush averaged 63 major rules annually during his eight years in office; Obama's five years so far have averaged 81.

Although there are over 3,500 rules annually, public notices in the Federal Register exceed 24,000 annually, with uncounted ``guidance documents'' among them. There were 24,261 notices in 2013 and 477,929 since 1995.

According to the fall 2013 ``Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions'' (which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation), 63 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,305 regulations at various stages of implementation.

Of the 3,305 regulations in the pipeline, 191 are ``economically significant'' rules, which the federal government defines as imposing at least $100 million in annual costs. Assuming that those rulemakings are primarily regulatory implies roughly $19 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

Of the 3,305 regulations now in the works, 669 affect small businesses. Of those, 391 required a regulatory flexibility analysis: 278 were otherwise noted by agencies to affect small businesses.

The five most active rule-producing agencies--the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, and Health and Human Services--account for 1,451 rules, or 44 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was formerly consistently in the top five, is now sixth, but adding its 179 rules brings the total from the top six rulemaking agencies to 1,630 rules, or 49.3 percent of all federal rules.

The most recent Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation of the overall U.S. federal regulatory enterprise estimated annual regulatory compliance costs of $1.752 trillion in 2008. Earlier SBA reports pegged costs at $1.1 trillion in 2005 and at $843 billion in 2001. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) agreed with those figures at the time. Meanwhile, a subset of 115 selected major rules reviewed during 2002-2012 by the OMB notes cumulative annual costs of between $57 billion and $84

billion.

The short-lived series of budget surpluses from 1998 to 2001--the first since 1969--seems like ancient history in today's debt and deficit-drenched policy setting, as the CBO projects annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decade. When it comes to stimulating a limping economy, reducing deficits and relieving regulatory burdens are key to the nation's economic health. Otherwise, budgetary pressures can incentivize lawmakers to impose off-budget regulations on the private

sector, rather than add to unpopular deficit spending. A new government program--for example, job training--would require either increasing government spending or imposing new regulations requiring such training. Unlike on-budget spending, the latter regulatory costs remain largely hidden from public view, which makes regulation increasingly attractive to lawmakers.

THE DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IMPERATIVES

Cost-benefit analysis at the agency level is already neglected; thus, at minimum, some third-party review is needed. Like federal spending, regulations and their costs should be tracked and disclosed annually. Then, periodic housecleaning should be performed.

A problem with cost-benefit analysis is that it largely relies on agency self-policing. Having agencies audit their own rules is like asking students to grade their own exams. Regulators are disinclined to emphasize when a rule's benefits do not justify the costs involved. In fact, one could expect new and dubious categories of benefits to emerge to justify an agency's rulemaking activity.

A major source of overregulation is the systematic overdelegation of rulemaking power to agencies. Requiring expedited votes on economically significant or controversial agency rules before they become binding would reestablish congressional accountability and would help affirm a principle of ``no regulation without representation.''

Openness about regulatory facts and figures can be bolstered through federal ``regulatory report cards,'' similar to the presentation in Ten Thousand Commandments. These could be officially issued each year to distill information for the public and policy makers about the scope of the regulatory state.

The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.

Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 185

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

Section 551 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (13), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (14), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(15) `major rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(16) `high-impact rule' means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose an annual cost on the economy of $1,000,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(17) `negative-impact on jobs and wages rule' means any rule that the agency that made the rule or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to--

``(A) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(B) in one or more sectors of the economy that has a 6-digit code under the North American Industry Classification System, [Page: H257]

reduce average weekly wages for employment not related to new regulatory compliance by 1 percent or more annually during the 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year period after implementation;

``(C) in any industry area (as such term is defined in the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) in which the most recent annual unemployment rate for the industry area is greater than 5 percent, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Current Population Survey, reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation; or

``(D) in any industry area in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in the Occupational Employment Statistics program that the employment level will decrease by 1 percent or more, further reduce employment not related to new regulatory compliance during the first year after implementation;

``(18) `guidance' means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue;

``(19) `major guidance' means guidance that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finds is likely to lead to--

``(A) an annual cost on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, adjusted annually for inflation;

``(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, local or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions;

``(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets; or

``(D) significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy;

``(20) the `Information Quality Act' means section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, and guidelines issued by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or other agencies pursuant to the Act; and

``(21) the `Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' means the office established under section 3503 of chapter 35 of title 44 and any successor to that office.''.

SEC. 3. RULE MAKING.

(a) Section 553(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking ``(a) This section applies'' and inserting ``(a) Applicability.--This section applies''.

(b) Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (b) through (e) and inserting the following:

``(b) Rule Making Considerations.--In a rule making, an agency shall make all preliminary and final factual determinations based on evidence and consider, in addition to other applicable considerations, the following:

``(1) The legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making.

``(2) Other statutory considerations applicable to whether the agency can or should propose a rule or undertake other agency action.

``(3) The specific nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule (including the degree and nature of risks the problem poses and the priority of addressing those risks compared to other matters or activities within the agency's jurisdiction), whether the problem warrants new agency action, and the countervailing risks that may be posed by alternatives for new agency action.

``(4) Whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency may address with a rule and whether those rules could be amended or rescinded to address the problem in whole or part.

``(5) Any reasonable alternatives for a new rule or other response identified by the agency or interested persons, including not only responses that mandate particular conduct or manners of compliance, but also--

``(A) the alternative of no Federal response;

``(B) amending or rescinding existing rules;

``(C) potential regional, State, local, or tribal regulatory action or other responses that could be taken in lieu of agency action; and

``(D) potential responses that--

``(i) specify performance objectives rather than conduct or manners of compliance;

``(ii) establish economic incentives to encourage desired behavior;

``(iii) provide information upon which choices can be made by the public; or

``(iv) incorporate other innovative alternatives rather than agency actions that specify conduct or manners of compliance.

``(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law--

``(A) the potential costs and benefits associated with potential alternative rules and other responses considered under section 553(b)(5), including direct, indirect, and cumulative costs and benefits and estimated impacts on jobs (including an estimate of the net gain or loss in domestic jobs), wages, economic growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness;

``(B) means to increase the cost-effectiveness of any Federal response; and

``(C) incentives for innovation, consistency, predictability, lower costs of enforcement and compliance (to government entities, regulated entities, and the public), and flexibility.

``(c) Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Major Rules, High-Impact Rules, Negative-Impact on Jobs and Wages Rules, and Rules Involving Novel Legal or Policy Issues.--In the case of a rule making for a major rule, a high-impact rule, a negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, or a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, not later than 90 days before a notice of proposed rule making is published in the Federal Register, an agency shall

publish advance notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register. In publishing such advance notice, the agency shall--

``(1) include a written statement identifying, at a minimum--

``(A) the nature and significance of the problem the agency may address with a rule, including data and other evidence and information on which the agency expects to rely for the proposed rule;

``(B) the legal authority under which a rule may be proposed, including whether a rule making is required by statute, and if so, whether by a specific date, or whether the agency has discretion to commence a rule making;

``(C) preliminary information available to the agency concerning the other considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(D) in the case of a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the nature of and potential reasons to adopt the novel legal or policy position upon which the agency may base a proposed rule; and

``(E) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(2) solicit written data, views or argument from interested persons concerning the information and issues addressed in the advance notice; and

``(3) provide for a period of not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit such written data, views, or argument to the agency.

``(d) Notices of Proposed Rule Making; Determinations of Other Agency Course.--(1) Before it determines to propose a rule, and following completion of procedures under subsection (c), if applicable, the agency shall consult with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. If the agency thereafter determines to propose a rule, the agency shall publish a notice of proposed rule making, which shall include--

``(A) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings;

``(B) reference to the legal authority under which the rule is proposed;

``(C) the terms of the proposed rule;

``(D) a description of information known to the agency on the subject and issues of the proposed rule, including but not limited to--

``(i) a summary of information known to the agency concerning the considerations specified in subsection (b);

``(ii) a summary of additional information the agency provided to and obtained from interested persons under subsection (c);

``(iii) a summary of any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis performed by the agency; and

``(iv) information specifically identifying all data, studies, models, and other evidence or information considered or used by the agency in connection with its determination to propose the rule;

``(E)(i) a reasoned preliminary determination of need for the rule based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(ii) an additional statement of whether a rule is required by statute; and

``(iii) an achievable objective for the rule and metrics by which the agency will measure progress toward that objective;

``(F) a reasoned preliminary determination that the benefits of the proposed rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the costs of the proposed rule (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), based on the information described under subparagraph (D);

``(G) a discussion of--

``(i) the alternatives to the proposed rule, and other alternative responses, considered by the agency under subsection (b);

``(ii) the costs and benefits of those alternatives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(iii) whether those alternatives meet relevant statutory objectives; and

``(iv) why the agency did not propose any of those alternatives; and

``(H)(i) a statement of whether existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the proposed rule; and

``(ii) if so, whether or not the agency proposes to amend or rescind any such rules, and why.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination to propose the rule, including any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information prepared or described by the agency under subparagraph (D) and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by [Page:

H258]

that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the proposed rule and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of proposed rule making is published.

``(2)(A) If the agency undertakes procedures under subsection (c) and determines thereafter not to propose a rule, the agency shall, following consultation with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish a notice of determination of other agency course. A notice of determination of other agency course shall include information required by paragraph (1)(D) to be included in a notice of proposed rule making and a description of the alternative response the agency determined to adopt.

``(B) If in its determination of other agency course the agency makes a determination to amend or rescind an existing rule, the agency need not undertake additional proceedings under subsection (c) before it publishes a notice of proposed rule making to amend or rescind the existing rule.

All information provided to or considered by the agency, and steps to obtain information by the agency, in connection with its determination of other agency course, including but not limited to any preliminary risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency and all other information that would be required to be prepared or described by the agency under paragraph (1)(D) if the agency had determined to publish a notice of proposed rule making and, at the discretion of the President

or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the determination and made accessible to the public by electronic means and otherwise for the public's use when the notice of determination is published.

``(3) After notice of proposed rule making required by this section, the agency shall provide interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except that--

``(A) if a hearing is required under paragraph (4)(B) or subsection (e), opportunity for oral presentation shall be provided pursuant to that requirement; or

``(B) when other than under subsection (e) of this section rules are required by statute or at the discretion of the agency to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, sections 556 and 557 shall apply, and paragraph (4), the requirements of subsection (e) to receive comment outside of the procedures of sections 556 and 557, and the petition procedures of subsection (e)(6) shall not apply.

The agency shall provide not fewer than 60 days for interested persons to submit written data, views, or argument (or 120 days in the case of a proposed major or high-impact rule).

``(4)(A) Within 30 days of publication of notice of proposed rule making, a member of the public may petition for a hearing in accordance with section 556 to determine whether any evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act.

``(B)(i) The agency may, upon review of the petition, determine without further process to exclude from the rule making the evidence or other information that is the subject of the petition and, if appropriate, withdraw the proposed rule. The agency shall promptly publish any such determination.

``(ii) If the agency does not resolve the petition under the procedures of clause (i), it shall grant any such petition that presents a prima facie case that evidence or other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule fails to comply with the Information Quality Act, hold the requested hearing not later than 30 days after receipt of the petition, provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at the hearing, and decide the issues presented by the petition not later than

60 days after receipt of the petition. The agency may deny any petition that it determines does not present such a prima facie case.

``(C) There shall be no judicial review of the agency's disposition of issues considered and decided or determined under subparagraph (B)(ii) until judicial review of the agency's final action. There shall be no judicial review of an agency's determination to withdraw a proposed rule under subparagraph (B)(i) on the basis of the petition.

``(D) Failure to petition for a hearing under this paragraph shall not preclude judicial review of any claim based on the Information Quality Act under chapter 7 of this title.

``(e) Hearings for High-Impact Rules.--Following notice of a proposed rule making, receipt of comments on the proposed rule, and any hearing held under subsection (d)(4), and before adoption of any high-impact rule, the agency shall hold a hearing in accordance with sections 556 and 557, unless such hearing is waived by all participants in the rule making other than the agency. The agency shall provide a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination at such hearing. The hearing shall

be limited to the following issues of fact, except that participants at the hearing other than the agency may waive determination of any such issue:

``(1) Whether the agency's asserted factual predicate for the rule is supported by the evidence.

``(2) Whether there is an alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the proposed rule.

``(3) If there is more than one alternative to the proposed rule that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost than the proposed rule, which alternative would achieve the relevant statutory objectives at the lowest cost.

``(4) Whether, if the agency proposes to adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)), the additional benefits of the more costly rule exceed the additional costs of the more costly rule.

``(5) Whether the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the proposed rule meets the requirements of the Information Quality Act.

``(6) Upon petition by an interested person who has participated in the rule making, other issues relevant to the rule making, unless the agency determines that consideration of the issues at the hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the nature of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. An agency shall grant or deny a petition under this paragraph within 30 days of its receipt of the petition.

No later than 45 days before any hearing held under this subsection or sections 556 and 557, the agency shall publish in the Federal Register a notice specifying the proposed rule to be considered at such hearing, the issues to be considered at the hearing, and the time and place for such hearing, except that such notice may be issued not later than 15 days before a hearing held under subsection (d)(4)(B).

``(f) Final Rules.--(1) The agency shall adopt a rule only following consultation with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to facilitate compliance with applicable rule making requirements.

``(2) The agency shall adopt a rule only on the basis of the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other evidence and information concerning the need for, consequences of, and alternatives to the rule.

``(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the agency shall adopt the least costly rule considered during the rule making (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) that meets relevant statutory objectives.

``(B) The agency may adopt a rule that is more costly than the least costly alternative that would achieve the relevant statutory objectives only if the additional benefits of the more costly rule justify its additional costs and only if the agency explains its reason for doing so based on interests of public health, safety or welfare that are clearly within the scope of the statutory provision authorizing the rule.

``(4) When it adopts a final rule, the agency shall publish a notice of final rule making. The notice shall include--

``(A) a concise, general statement of the rule's basis and purpose;

``(B) the agency's reasoned final determination of need for a rule to address the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, including a statement of whether a rule is required by statute and a summary of any final risk assessment or regulatory impact analysis prepared by the agency;

``(C) the agency's reasoned final determination that the benefits of the rule meet the relevant statutory objectives and justify the rule's costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6));

``(D) the agency's reasoned final determination not to adopt any of the alternatives to the proposed rule considered by the agency during the rule making, including--

``(i) the agency's reasoned final determination that no alternative considered achieved the relevant statutory objectives with lower costs (including all costs to be considered under subsection (b)(6)) than the rule; or

``(ii) the agency's reasoned determination that its adoption of a more costly rule complies with subsection (f)(3)(B);

``(E) the agency's reasoned final determination--

``(i) that existing rules have not created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule; or

``(ii) that existing rules have created or contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with the rule, and, if so--

``(I) why amendment or rescission of such existing rules is not alone sufficient to respond to the problem; and

``(II) whether and how the agency intends to amend or rescind the existing rule separate from adoption of the rule;

``(F) the agency's reasoned final determination that the evidence and other information upon which the agency bases the rule complies with the Information Quality Act;

``(G) the agency's reasoned final determination that the rule meets the objectives that the agency identified in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other objectives are more appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the rule meets those objectives;

``(H) the agency's reasoned final determination that it did not deviate from the metrics the agency included in subsection (d)(1)(E)(iii) or that other metrics are more [Page: H259]

appropriate in light of the full administrative record and the agency did not deviate from those metrics;

``(I)(i) for any major rule, high-impact rule, or negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, the agency's plan for review of the rule no less than every ten years to determine whether, based upon evidence, there remains a need for the rule, whether the rule is in fact achieving statutory objectives, whether the rule's benefits continue to justify its costs, and whether the rule can be modified or rescinded to reduce costs while continuing to achieve statutory objectives; and

``(ii) review of a rule under a plan required by clause (i) of this subparagraph shall take into account the factors and criteria set forth in subsections (b) through (f) of section 553 of this title; and

``(J) for any negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, a statement that the head of the agency that made the rule approved the rule knowing about the findings and determination of the agency or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that qualified the rule as a negative impact on jobs and wages rule.

All information considered by the agency in connection with its adoption of the rule, and, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, information provided by that Office in consultations with the agency, shall be placed in the docket for the rule and made accessible to the public for the public's use no later than when the rule is adopted.

``(g) Exceptions From Notice and Hearing Requirements.--(1) Except when notice or hearing is required by statute, the following do not apply to interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice:

``(A) Subsections (c) through (e).

``(B) Paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (f).

``(C) Subparagraphs (B) through (H) of subsection (f)(4).

``(2)(A) When the agency for good cause, based upon evidence, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section before the issuance of an interim rule is impracticable or contrary to the public interest, including interests of national security, such subsections or requirements to render final determinations shall

not apply to the agency's adoption of an interim rule.

``(B) If, following compliance with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the agency adopts an interim rule, it shall commence proceedings that comply fully with subsections (d) through (f) of this section immediately upon publication of the interim rule, shall treat the publication of the interim rule as publication of a notice of proposed rule making and shall not be required to issue supplemental notice other than to complete full compliance with subsection (d). No less than 270 days from publication

of the interim rule (or 18 months in the case of a major rule or high-impact rule), the agency shall complete rule making under subsections (d) through (f) of this subsection and take final action to adopt a final rule or rescind the interim rule. If the agency fails to take timely final action, the interim rule will cease to have the effect of law.

``(C) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of this section, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under chapter 7 of this title of the agency's determination to adopt such interim rule. The record on such review shall include all documents and information considered by the agency and

any additional information presented by a party that the court determines necessary to consider to assure justice.

``(3) When the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are unnecessary, including because agency rule making is undertaken only to correct a de minimis technical or clerical error in a previously issued rule or for other noncontroversial purposes, the agency may publish a rule without compliance with subsection (c), (d), (e), or (f)(1)-(3) and (f)(4)(B)-(F). If the agency

receives significant adverse comment within 60 days after publication of the rule, it shall treat the notice of the rule as a notice of proposed rule making and complete rule making in compliance with subsections (d) and (f).

``(h) Additional Requirements for Hearings.--When a hearing is required under subsection (e) or is otherwise required by statute or at the agency's discretion before adoption of a rule, the agency shall comply with the requirements of sections 556 and 557 in addition to the requirements of subsection (f) in adopting the rule and in providing notice of the rule's adoption.

``(i) Date of Publication of Rule.--The required publication or service of a substantive final or interim rule shall be made not less than 30 days before the effective date of the rule, except--

``(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;

``(2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or

``(3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

``(j) Right To Petition.--Each agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.

``(k) Rule Making Guidelines.--(1)(A) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall establish guidelines for the assessment, including quantitative and qualitative assessment, of the costs and benefits of proposed and final rules and other economic issues or issues related to risk that are relevant to rule making under this title. The rigor of cost-benefit analysis required by such guidelines shall be commensurate, in the Administrator's determination,

with the economic impact of the rule.

``(B) To ensure that agencies use the best available techniques to quantify and evaluate anticipated present and future benefits, costs, other economic issues, and risks as accurately as possible, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall regularly update guidelines established under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

``(2) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall also issue guidelines to promote coordination, simplification and harmonization of agency rules during the rule making process and otherwise. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids regulations that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, its other regulations and those of other Federal agencies and drafts its regulations to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing

the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(3) To ensure consistency in Federal rule making, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall--

``(A) issue guidelines and otherwise take action to ensure that rule makings conducted in whole or in part under procedures specified in provisions of law other than those of subchapter II of this title conform to the fullest extent allowed by law with the procedures set forth in section 553 of this title; and

``(B) issue guidelines for the conduct of hearings under subsections 553(d)(4) and 553(e) of this section, including to assure a reasonable opportunity for cross-examination. Each agency shall adopt regulations for the conduct of hearings consistent with the guidelines issued under this subparagraph.

``(4) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall issue guidelines pursuant to the Information Quality Act to apply in rule making proceedings under sections 553, 556, and 557 of this title. In all cases, such guidelines, and the Administrator's specific determinations regarding agency compliance with such guidelines, shall be entitled to judicial deference.

``(l) Inclusion in the Record of Certain Documents and Information.--The agency shall include in the record for a rule making, and shall make available by electronic means and otherwise, all documents and information prepared or considered by the agency during the proceeding, including, at the discretion of the President or the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, documents and information communicated by that Office during consultation with the Agency.

``(m) Monetary Policy Exemption.--Nothing in subsection (b)(6), subparagraphs (F) and (G) of subsection (d)(1), subsection (e), subsection (f)(3), and subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (f)(5) shall apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 4. AGENCY GUIDANCE; PROCEDURES TO ISSUE MAJOR GUIDANCE; PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE GUIDELINES FOR ISSUANCE OF GUIDANCE.

(a) In General.--Chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 553 the following new section:``§553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance

``(a) Before issuing any major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, an agency shall--

``(1) make and document a reasoned determination that--

``(A) assures that such guidance is understandable and complies with relevant statutory objectives and regulatory provisions (including any statutory deadlines for agency action);

``(B) summarizes the evidence and data on which the agency will base the guidance;

``(C) identifies the costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) of conduct conforming to such guidance and assures that such benefits justify such costs; and

``(D) describes alternatives to such guidance and their costs and benefits (including all costs to be considered during a rule making under section 553(b) of this title) and explains why the agency rejected those alternatives; and

``(2) confer with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the issuance of such guidance to assure that the guidance is reasonable, understandable, consistent with relevant statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements or [Page: H260]

practices of other agencies, does not produce costs that are unjustified by the guidance's benefits, and is otherwise appropriate.

Upon issuing major guidance, or guidance that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates, the agency shall publish the documentation required by subparagraph (1) by electronic means and otherwise.

``(b) Agency guidance--

``(1) is not legally binding and may not be relied upon by an agency as legal grounds for agency action;

``(2) shall state in a plain, prominent and permanent manner that it is not legally binding; and

``(3) shall, at the time it is issued or upon request, be made available by the issuing agency to interested persons and the public by electronic means and otherwise.

Agencies shall avoid the issuance of guidance that is inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the agency's governing statutes or regulations, with the goal of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

``(c) The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs shall have authority to issue guidelines for use by the agencies in the issuance of major guidance and other guidance. Such guidelines shall assure that each agency avoids issuing guidance documents that are inconsistent or incompatible with, or duplicative of, the law, its other regulations, or the regulations of other Federal agencies and drafts its guidance documents to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal

of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 553 the following new item:

``553a. Agency guidance; procedures to issue major guidance; authority to issue guidelines for issuance of guidance.''.

SEC. 5. HEARINGS; PRESIDING EMPLOYEES; POWERS AND DUTIES; BURDEN OF PROOF; EVIDENCE; RECORD AS BASIS OF DECISION.

Section 556 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:

``(e)(1) The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision in accordance with section 557 and shall be made available to the parties and the public by electronic means and, upon payment of lawfully prescribed costs, otherwise. When an agency decision rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, a party is entitled, on timely request, to an opportunity

to show the contrary.

``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a proceeding held under this section pursuant to section 553(d)(4) or 553(e), the record for decision shall also include any information that is part of the record of proceedings under section 553.

``(f) When an agency conducts rule making under this section and section 557 directly after concluding proceedings upon an advance notice of proposed rule making under section 553(c), the matters to be considered and determinations to be made shall include, among other relevant matters and determinations, the matters and determinations described in subsections (b) and (f) of section 553.

``(g) Upon receipt of a petition for a hearing under this section, the agency shall grant the petition in the case of any major rule, unless the agency reasonably determines that a hearing would not advance consideration of the rule or would, in light of the need for agency action, unreasonably delay completion of the rule making. The agency shall publish its decision to grant or deny the petition when it renders the decision, including an explanation of the grounds for decision. The information

contained in the petition shall in all cases be included in the administrative record. This subsection shall not apply to rule makings that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.''.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS REVIEWABLE.

Section 704 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking ``Agency action made'' and inserting ``(a) Agency action made''; and

(2) by adding at the end the following: ``Denial by an agency of a correction request or, where administrative appeal is provided for, denial of an appeal, under an administrative mechanism described in subsection (b)(2)(B) of the Information Quality Act, or the failure of an agency within 90 days to grant or deny such request or appeal, shall be final action for purposes of this section.

``(b) Other than in cases involving interests of national security, notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, upon the agency's publication of an interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or requirements to render final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553, an interested party may seek immediate judicial review under this chapter of the agency's determination to adopt such rule on an interim basis. Review shall be limited to whether the agency abused

its discretion to adopt the interim rule without compliance with section 553(c), (d), or (e) or without rendering final determinations under subsection (f) of section 553.''.

SEC. 7. SCOPE OF REVIEW.

Section 706 of title 5, United States Code is amended--

(1) by striking ``To the extent necessary'' and inserting ``(a) To the extent necessary'';

(2) in paragraph (2)(A) of subsection (a) (as designated by paragraph (1) of this section), by inserting after ``in accordance with law'' the following: ``(including the Information Quality Act)''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(b) The court shall not defer to the agency's--

``(1) interpretation of an agency rule if the agency did not comply with the procedures of section 553 or sections 556-557 of chapter 5 of this title to issue the interpretation;

``(2) determination of the costs and benefits or other economic or risk assessment of the action, if the agency failed to conform to guidelines on such determinations and assessments established by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under section 553(k);

``(3) determinations made in the adoption of an interim rule; or

``(4) guidance.

``(c) The court shall review agency denials of petitions under section 553(e)(6) or any other petition for a hearing under sections 556 and 557 for abuse of agency discretion.''.

SEC. 8. ADDED DEFINITION.

Section 701(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end, and inserting ``; and''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

``(3) `substantial evidence' means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion in light of the record considered as a whole, taking into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from the weight of the evidence relied upon by the agency to support its decision.''.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made by this Act to--

(1) sections 553, 556, and 704 of title 5, United States Code;

(2) subsection (b) of section 701 of such title;

(3) paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 706(b) of such title; and

(4) subsection (c) of section 706 of such title, shall not apply to any rule makings pending or completed on the date of enactment of this Act.

The CHAIR. No amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in part A of House Report 114-2. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR.

MCKINLEY

The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part A of House Report 114-2.