Reps. Gosar and Norman Introduce Bill for Transparency in Federal Rule-Making

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Washington, D.C., November 2, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05) released the following statement after introducing the Better Evaluation of Science And Technology (BEST) Act, the House companion bill to S. 578, introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK). This bill will provide transparency to the federal rule-making process as well as enforce a science-based approach to creating regulations for federal agencies.

“The federal government should not be able to make regulations without providing the public with the science to back them up,” said Rep. Gosar. “Science-based rules should be founded in fact, not fiction. Past administrations have been keen to pick and choose scientific studies that support their political agenda rather than the American people. The BEST Act will not only make the rule-making process public but will also assist in making those rules more intellectually sound — not based on the conversation of the day.”

“This bill requires each agency, before making a rule that would affect all Americans, to use the ‘best available’ science,” said Rep. Norman. “No longer are rules going to be made by Federal agencies behind closed doors and unavailable to Congress and the public. Since 2009, the operational cost of our nation’s regulations exceeds $100 billion annually. Many times, Congress, as well as the American people, can be left in the dark on these why these regulations were made. The BEST Act would reverse this long-standing course of action and show why and how certain regulations are being established.”

“I commend Congressmen Ralph Norman and Paul Gosar for their leadership and introducing the BEST Act in the House,” said Sen. Lankford.“This is a common-sense bill that will bring greater scientific transparency and accountability to the regulatory process, no matter who the president is. This is a win-win because it will ultimately result in better regulations, based on proven scientific standards rather than preference or ideology.”

Background:

Over the last administration, federal agencies have continually passed misguided and out-of-touch regulations across all areas of government that have been detrimental to the American people. As one article recently pointed out, since 2009, the operational cost of our nation’s regulations exceeds $100 billion annually. Many of these rules lack any sound evidence to support their creation.

The BEST Act would take the scientific standards found in Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and apply them to the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) which governs all federal rulemaking. In effect, this greatly needed regulatory reform bill would end the controversial rulemaking practices employed by federal agencies during previous administrations. Similar language was adopted as part of the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act, which passed the House in Marchwith bipartisan support.

The BEST Act would require regulatory decisions to be based on the “best available science” and would not allow an agency to issue a regulatory rule based on a singular, private study not available to the public. Further, before the issuance of a science-based rule, the federal agency must factor in the relevance, completeness, and clarity of the information as well as using information that has been independently verified or peer-reviewed. This information – including all findings – would then be submitted in a non-technical summary and include a list of studies considered by the agency along with the results of those studies.

The full text of S. 578 can be found HERE.



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