WASHINGTON ? Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Senator John Breaux (D-LA) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill with a provision to make the Thompson-Breaux Regulatory Right-to-Know provision permanent. The Thompson-Breaux provision would require the White House to disclose to the public the costs and benefits of regulatory programs in a report to be included each year in the federal budget.
“The Regulatory Right-to-Know provision is based on a simple premise,” Thompson said. “People have a right to know how and why federal agencies make their most important and expensive regulatory decisions.
“This is good government,” Thompson added. “This provision will help hold federal regulators accountable and reduce needless waste and red tape. It will improve efforts to protect public health, safety and the environment, and promote the economic security and well-being of our families and communities. I look forward to the report becoming a regular part of the dialogue between the executive branch and Congress when we debate the federal budget.”
“We must work together to contribute to the success of responsible government programs,” Breaux said. “Now the federal government will be held more accountable for how it spends taxpayer dollars. And we, the members of Congress, and the American people, will know, each year, the costs and benefits of regulatory decisions and the real value of proposed federal rules.”
The Thompson-Breaux provision, which has been included as a temporary measure in the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill for the last two years, builds on and strengthens the original regulatory accounting provision sponsored by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) in 1996 and in 1997. The Thompson-Breaux provision requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide Congress with a report on the total annual benefits and costs of Federal regulatory programs, as well as an analysis of the impacts of federal regulation on state and local government, small business, and economic growth. It also requires OMB to issue agency guidelines for accounting and to solicit public comment and expert peer review to continually improve the quality of the report.
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