Washington, D.C. – Senator Ron Johnson (WI) today joined several congressional colleagues in a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulatory affairs office encouraging greater public input into the rulemaking process. In addition to Senator Johnson, the letter is signed by Chairman Darrell Issa (CA) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA) of the House Judiciary Committee.

Johnson explained, “the federal government answers to the American people. When agencies propose new rules with dramatic effects on jobs, investment, and the day-to-day lives of millions of Americans, they should allow those impacted to review the rules and comment on them before they go into effect. That’s simply common sense.”

“The independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently found that the percentage of major rules that are announced without opportunity for public comment nearly doubled between 1998 and 2010 – increasing from 18% to 35%. The GAO recommended that agencies solicit and respond to public comment, but the OMB has refused to take this counsel. With this letter, we are encouraging them to reconsider.”

Chairman Issa said, “the Government Accountability Office’s recommendation to the White House Office of Management and Budget to improve certain rulemakings was made after nearly two years of extensive and thorough analysis. The fact that the Administration thinks it knows better and refuses to fully address the problems GAO identified is troubling.”

Chairman Goodlatte added “public participation is at the heart of our democracy. When it comes to government regulation, the public should have every right to expect transparency, review such rules and voice their concerns for the sake of improving quality and lowering costs for all Americans. OMB should follow the GAO’s recommendation to ensure public input plays this crucial role in the rulemaking process.”

Click here to read the GAO Report.