Will New House Website Bring Real Small Business Voices to Regulatory Debates?

Congratulations to Republicans on the House Small Business Committee for launching a new website that purportedly will alert small business owners to regulatory issues affecting them and make it easier for them to comment on pending rules. It would be a significant improvement to the regulatory process if small businesses actually weighed in themselves on the impacts of rules and also commented on the new markets that may be created for small business products and services as a result of standards and safeguards.

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Urgent Public Protections Should Be Treated As Such – Sen. Jay Rockefeller

At a Senate committee hearing earlier this week, safety advocates told lawmakers that federal agencies need to do more to make the country’s natural gas and hazardous materials pipelines safer.

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Progress: Bill That Would Have Undercut Work of Independent Federal Agencies Delayed Until 2013

Great news! Thanks to the hard work of consumer, environmental, labor, and other public interest groups (including the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards) and engaged citizens like you, lawmakers put the brakes on the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act (S. 3468). The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has decided to hold a hearing on the bill to gather more public input before moving forward.

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Regulations.gov Releases New Features

This week, Regulations.gov released new enhancements to the site as part of a continuing redesign and improvement effort. There are more changes to come, but the latest features make rulemaking dockets easier to navigate and understand.

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Nearly Four Years In, What Do Cost-Benefit Data Show for the Major Obama EPA Rules, and What Do They Imply for the Economy?

With the issuance in August of the fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for cars for model years 2017–2025, the Obama administration may have now put forth the last major Environmental Protection Agency rule of its term. Starting with a comprehensive analysis in May 2011, EPI has issued a series of analyses which have found that contrary to much of the political commentary, these rules will be of great benefit to the nation, improving public health considerably without harming the economy or employment. (By Isaac Shapiro, originally posted on the Economic Policy Institute's blog, working economics, on Sept. 25, 2012)

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Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Stunning Triumph of a Flawed Tool

Last Thursday, Cass Sunstein, the former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), argued that “cost-benefit analysis has become part of the informal constitution of the U.S. regulatory state” and that this represents a “stunning triumph.”  While it’s true that cost-benefit analyses are being applied to rulemaking across an array of laws and programs, we believe that this represents the triumph of a flawed analytic tool and is not a triumph for American citizens. It is simply not appropriate to apply cost-benefit analysis to many aspects of policymaking, and the results from such analyses should not be the final determinant of the value of many proposed standards or safeguards.

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New OMB Watch Article Explores Perils of Senate Anti-Regulatory Bill

OMB Watch is out with a new article today that explores the risks posed by another anti-regulatory bill in the Senate, known as the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act. Though the legislation would impact everything from the safety of children's toys to Americans' financial security, it may be fast-tracked to a committee vote later this month – without a hearing.

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How Many More Food Recalls Will It Take to End Delay on New Food Safety Rules?

On Aug. 22, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms in Indiana are being recalled because of Salmonella contamination, which has infected 178 people in 21 states, causing 62 hospitalizations and 2 deaths.

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Sunstein’s Legacy: Retrospective Reviews = An Unjustified Burden on Regulatory Agencies

No one is in favor of outmoded, ineffective, duplicative, or unnecessary regulation. But judgments about what rules are necessary or effective are in the eye of the beholder: the same rules that save the lives of consumers and workers may be viewed as burdensome by the firms that have to follow them.

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Updated: House Majority Trying to Shut Down Safeguards – Again

The highlight of next week's legislative calendar in the House is likely to be a vote on H.R. 4078, the misleadingly named "Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act." With this vote, the House majority is set to launch yet another attack to shut down the safeguards that protect Americans against health, safety, and economic disasters.

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