American Farm Bureau Works Towards Regulatory Reform

April 17, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Regulatory Reform is in limbo as the Senate crafts its version of a house-passed bill.

The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 is being promoted as a bi-partisan piece of legislation, but the important issue is what it means for you.

A 72-year-old act dictates the federal government’s current rulemaking process, and the American Farm Bureau Federation wants to change it.

Paul Schlegel, AFBF Energy and Environment Director says, “What we want to see is a greater attention to the costs and benefits when they promulgate rules for instance. How they evaluate those. We want to see greater transparency in the science they use. We’d like to see greater teeth put in the data quality act.”

The proposed bill meets some of their expectations and would require agencies to consider the following:

  • The costs and benefits of potential rules
  • The significance of the problem addressed by a rule
  • Whether current rules need to be amended or eliminated
  • Potential alternatives for a new rule
  • The legal authority of making certain rules.

In addition, the measure would address executive orders, working to make them stick no matter who is in the White House.

Schlegel continued, “We want to see those changes in law so that they are not subject to policy of administration’s as they come and go.”

Both sides of the aisle understand the issue, which is why AFBF continues to work with lawmakers to introduce the bill in the senate.

Schlegel continued, “Senator Portman has been talking to Senator McCaskill in Missouri and Senator Heitkamp in North Dakota.They’ve been going back and forth about that legislation. There are a number of areas of agreement. We in the farming community issued a white paper late last year in which we talked about the importance of keeping the issue bipartisan and we want to keep it that way.”

Schlegel said Senator Portman is eager to introduce the bill to his fellow lawmakers.

Congress is on recess through next Monday, but as the list of cabinet confirmation hearings dwindles, AFBF hopes to move regulatory reform higher-up on the agenda.