Updated: Possible Senate Shenanigans on the REINS Act

There are rumblings that as soon as today, the Senate GOP may begin to offer up the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (S. 299) as an amendment to, or a substitute for, bills moving to the Senate floor for a vote. Such a move would limit the public's ability to have a say on this damaging legislation.

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Mine Workers Accuse Massey Energy of "Industrial Homicide"

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) released a report Oct. 25 accusing Massey Energy, the owner of the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine in West Virginia, of "industrial homicide" for its role in the April 5, 2010, explosion that killed 29 coal miners.

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A Dangerous, Misguided Regulatory Attack

Today, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced their intention to propose a major revision of the Administrative Procedure Act – the basic legal framework that defines how federal rules are made – that would prevent or delay by years important health, safety, and environmental standards. It's hard to imagine a more damaging attack on the federal government's responsibility to protect the public from a wide range of threats.

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Obama Orders EPA to Withdraw Ozone Rule

President Obama today ordered U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the final ozone rule the agency has been developing. The new ozone rule would have replaced those set by the Bush administration in 2008 that have not been implemented and which Jackson called "legally indefensible."

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OMB Watch Provides Analyses of Agencies' Retrospective Review Plans

President Obama's Jan. 18 Executive Order 13563, "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review" (E.O. 13563), instructed federal agencies to develop plans for the ongoing review of existing regulations to identify rules that are "outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them." On Aug. 23, the administration released final retrospective review plans, submitted by 26 agencies, that contain the list of rules to be addressed in accordance with the E.O. The plans also include descriptions of how the agencies intend to incorporate ongoing retrospective review processes into their administrative procedures. OMB Watch now has a webpage where the public can read about the plans of key health, safety, and environmental agencies responsible for safeguarding the public.

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Business Economists: Current Regulatory Environment Good for Business and Economy

The August 2011 Economic Policy Survey from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that a large majority of business economists have a positive perspective on the regulatory environment in the United States, contradicting the overheated, anti-regulatory rhetoric coming from Big Business lobbying shops.

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"A Nation Without Regulations Would be a Nation at Risk"

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, opened a committee hearing on regulation with the quote above. His committee was conducting a hearing today entitled Federal Regulation: A Review of Legislative Proposals.

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Real Stories about the Benefits of Regulation Emerge Ahead of Senate Hearing

For months, the country has been bombarded with increasingly negative and misleading messages about federal regulation, and Congress has responded by launching attacks against public protections that safeguard our air, our water, our food, our workplaces, and our economy. What's been missing from these anti-regulatory broadsides are examples of the benefits of regulation, but such stories emerged earlier today during a Coalition for Sensible Safeguards press call.

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Regulatory Process Oversight Hearing Postponed

A hearing entitled Federal Rulemaking and the Regulatory Process that was scheduled for today was postponed because one of the witnesses is ill. The House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law had scheduled the hearing, the first congressional hearing to focus on regulatory process issues in the Obama administration. OMB Watch's executive director, Gary Bass, was scheduled to testify among others.

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Obama Signs Bill Regulating Tobacco

President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 today giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) powers to regulate tobacco for the first time. The law bans tobacco advertising within a thousand feet of schools and playgrounds and curbs the marketing of products to children.

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