H. R. 50, Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017

“This bill would aim to increase the information available to Congress & the public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. It’d require agencies to measure a proposed rule’s annual effect on the economy, not just “expenditures”, and to conduct an Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) analysis unless a law expressly prohibits them doing so. UMRA analyses would be required for all final rules, even those that weren’t subject to a public comment period.

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) current policy of accounting for specific costs of federal mandates — such as foregone business profits, costs passed onto consumers and other entities or behavioral changes — would be codified into law. Congressional committee chairmen and ranking members would be granted authority to request that the CBO perform analyses comparing the authorized levels of funding in bills or resolutions with the potential loss of federal aid dollars when mandate compliance is a condition for that aid.

Federal agencies would be required to consult with private sector entities, like small businesses, that’ll be directly impacted by proposed regulations in the same way they do with state, local, and tribal governments. Agencies would be required to include an appendix in their annual reports to Congress detailing their regulatory consultation with state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) would be responsible for determining whether agencies have satisfied UMRA’s cost disclosure requirements. It’d allow the judicial branch to place a stay on regulations or invalidate rules if the originating federal agency fails to complete statutorily required UMRA analyses.” (Source: Countable)

One of the two DFL Reps present for the roll call voted opposite Jason Lewis, as did 167 other Dems in the House. We therefore regard Lewis’s vote as being against progressive values.

Why This Bill Is Against Our Values:

“H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017, is significantly flawed. The bill would be an assault on the nation’s health, safety, and environmental protections, erect new barriers to unnecessarily slow down the regulatory process, and give regulated industries an unfair advantage to water down consumer protections.” (Source: Minority Views, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Report 115-798)

The Unfunded Mandates and Information Transparency Act would require federal agencies to alert regulated industries when they are considering drafting a rule and solicit their feedback – before the public learns there may be a rule under consideration. Businesses could block even a hypothetical future rule and the public might never find out.

The bill would require agencies to perform retrospective analyses at the request of any chairman or ranking member of any House or Senate committee. Agencies could be forced to perform dozens, if not hundreds, of unnecessary retrospective reviews for rules that have been on the books for decades – diverting staff and resources from developing critical new safety standards.

In addition, the legislation would improperly expand the scope of judicial review by requiring judges to assess cost-benefit analyses that they do not have the economic, technical and scientific expertise to evaluate. This unprecedented role for the courts is just a recipe for more litigation, endless delays and greater uncertainty for regulated industries and the public.”  (Source:  Coalition for Sensible Safeguards)


More Info See Bill