McCaskill Introduces Bill to Identify Unnecessary Regulations, Increase Transparency in Regulatory Process

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced a bill yesterday that would help identify unnecessary federal regulations for elimination and give businesses and Missourians a larger voice in the regulatory process. The Regulatory Improvement and Transparency Act includes a number of provisions that strengthen transparency and accountability in how federal agencies create regulations.

“We need to have smart regulatory reform that reduces burdens on families and businesses while still protecting Missourians health and safety,” McCaskill said. “My commonsense legislation will improve the regulatory process to ensure Missourians have a greater voice when new regulations are drafted and help us identify current regulations that are unnecessary or duplicative.” 

Key provisions of McCaskill’s Regulatory Improvement and Transparency Act include:

  • Requiring agencies to publicly announce major regulations they intend to work on earlier in the process, giving businesses the opportunity to provide input before the regulations are drafted.
  • Creating a bipartisan pilot commission that will review existing transportation sector regulations and make suggestions of regulations to modify or cut. Congress could then reauthorize the Commission to identify unnecessary regulations in other sectors.
  • Requiring all new major regulations be re-evaluated within 10 years to determine if still necessary.
  • Expanding upon McCaskill’s Plain Writing Act of 2010 to require federal regulations be issued to the public in as clear, concise language as possible.
  • Increasing transparency at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in order to de-politicize the regulatory process.

McCaskill is a longtime advocate for curbing unnecessary regulation. Recently, she applauded President Trump for rolling back the “Waters of the U.S.” rule to regulate waterways—she was one of few Democrats to oppose the rule when former President Obama issued it. Earlier this year, McCaskill introduced bipartisan legislation requiring the federal government to cut waste and consolidate duplicative green building programs, and joined a bipartisan push to stop the federal government from forcing regulations meant for consumer cars and trucks onto competitive motorsport vehicles.

In 2015, provisions from McCaskill’s Federal Permitting Improvement Act, that streamlines and speeds up the federal permitting process for the largest and most complex projects, was passed into law as part of the national highway bill. McCaskill has also introduced legislation to eliminate redundant pesticide approvals processes for Missouri’s farmers and ranchers, led a successful fight against unnecessary EPA regulations that would have negatively impacted Ste. Genevieve-based manufacturer Holcim, and won a victory for supermarkets, grocery stores, and similar retail locations by delaying new menu labeling requirements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Read McCaskill’s new bill HERE.