Friday, May 26, 2017

Up for a vote in the Senate: The Regulatory Accountability Act! Rigging the regulatory process (even more) in favor of corporate interests.

The Senate is dangerously close to passing a bill that would give the biggest corporations in our country even more power over laws designed to protect people and the planet. It's unacceptable.

This dangerous bill has already passed the House and the Senate could vote within days. Your senators need to hear from you!
The Regulatory Accountability Act (S.951) is one of the greatest threats to our government's system of rules and regulations that are meant to safeguard you and your family. The bill would paralyze our regulatory process and rig the process in favor of deregulation — which is exactly what big corporations want.

The consequences of this legislation are incredibly broad — potentially impacting women’s health, consumer protection, food safety, financial reform, labor, environmental issues and more.

The Senate could vote any day. We know multinational corporations are weighing in — now it's your turn. Tell your senators to REJECT the dangerous Regulatory Accountability Act!

Why is this Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) so bad?

1 - The bill is designed to block or weaken regulations that protect U.S. workers, consumers and the environment.
The RAA forces all agencies to adopt “the most cost-effective” regulations for corporations, not the regulations that “maximize net benefits” to the public. Maximizing benefits to the public has been the gold standard in cost-benefit analysis for decades in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Without strong and effective regulatory safeguards that maximize benefits for the American public, the public will pay the price. 

2 - The RAA takes an already inefficient rulemaking process and makes it much worse.

It currently takes agencies an entire presidential term (on average) to produce and finalize the regulations that provide the greatest benefits to Americans. The RAA would drown agency regulators with 53 new requirements before putting new rules in place. Given that agency budgets are being targeted for defunding, this will make regulatory delay even worse.

3 - The RAA rigs the regulatory process (even more) in favor of corporate special interests.

The numerous steps that the RAA adds to the rulemaking process means the special interest voices that already dominate the rulemaking process will have even more opportunities to exert power. The RAA does nothing to ensure agencies hear from everyday Americans like YOU, who are supposed to benefit from regulatory safeguards.

So what would this mean? Let’s say we were trying to get the EPA to adopt a rule to protect groundwater from fracking chemicals. If the RAA passes, the EPA would be bogged down by red tape and the process would put the interests of Big Oil and Gas ahead of the interests of the public. This is not okay!

Take action with our sister organization, Food & Water Action Fund, to make sure your senators hear from you: YOU are more important than special interests.

It's issues like this that show where our members of Congress really stand — are they with the public or are they beholden to special interests? The good news: our members of Congress are vulnerable to public pressure since the public is responsible for electing them to office. We know from years of working on the ground with grassroots partners in states across the country that organized public pressure can result in progressive victories. Together, we can put up a strong defense.

-Patty Lovera, Food & Water Watch

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