WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. George Holding introduced his first piece of legislation in Congress this week – a bill that would require federal agencies to publish more information about rules they are planning.
The Raleigh Republican calls the bill the All Economic Regulations are Transparent Act. It would require federal agencies once a month to report on all rules they plan to propose or finalize in the coming year. The federal government would be required to post this information on the Internet each month.
The bill would “help business owners know what’s coming so they can determine what effect the regulations will have on them,” Holding said. It also increases transparency by requiring federal agencies to detail the effects of regulations, he said.
Holding has been a member of Congress since January and was one of the last of 84 freshmen to introduce legislation.
“I’m focused on cutting spending and the size of government, and part of that means that we need to actually make the government be accountable for the rules and regulations that they promulgate,” Holding said Thursday in an email.
“Often, (small businesses) are harmed by regulations because they do not have proper time to comply and prepare for their effects on the business.”
Under his bill, a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed or final rules would have to be published twice a year. In addition, agencies would be required to publish that information for all proposed and final rules from the past 10 years. No rules could take effect until the required information was available online for six months, except in certain cases the president could order that a rule should take effect immediately.
Federal agencies now are required to publish information twice a year on rules that may have a significant impact on a substantial number of small businesses.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has passed many bills that attempt to limit regulations. They have been blocked by the Senate, where Democrats have a majority.
James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst with Center for Progressive Reform, a nonprofit research group that supports protections of health, safety and the environment, said the bill won’t improve transparency.
“Basically it just makes them issue more reports that contain meaningless information,” Goodwin said.
The law requires the administration to release a “Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan” twice a year, providing information about proposed regulations. Holding said the Obama administration has been late.