A bill that supporters say would trim federal spending by requiring the government to adopt laws in the least costly manner has been reintroduced in the House.
The Regulatory Accountability Act will improve transparency in the regulatory process and address problems of excessive regulatory costs, said Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. The two are sponsors of the bill.
“This bill will streamline and bring transparency to the regulatory process, ensuring that our farmers, ranchers and small businesses are not regulated out of business," Peterson said in a statement Wednesday.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also lauded the bill, which the group explained would update the Administrative Procedure Act by building on "established principles of good quality data, sound science, and solid economic analysis," The Hill reported.
Echoing Chamber statements, American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said the Regulatory Accountability Act also requires on-the-record hearings for more costly rules and requires agencies to consider costly rules' impact on jobs and the economy.
“Goodlatte-Peterson updates to the APA will give all stakeholders a greater voice in a process that is too often one-sided," Stallman said in a statement. "Everything from the environment to trade, product safety and health, the fertility of farmland, even the security of our retirements, suffer when rule makers fail to take into account the harm they may cause."
Opponents of the bill's previous versions suggested, however, that changes to the APA undermine the regulatory process and limit the ability of public agencies to protect citizens.
Similar versions of the bill passed in 2013 and 2014. Last year, it was tacked on to a jobs and economic growth package.