Safeguarding the Public's Health and Safety: The President's FY 2013 Public Protections Funding Requests

When public agencies are effective and responsive, the protections they afford to the American people are largely invisible. Americans have largely forgotten the “bad old days” before there were meat inspectors, toy inspectors, workplace safety standards, clean air and water standards, and laws against the release of toxic chemical waste. In a new analysis released Feb. 17, we examine the “public protections budget” – a diverse set of federal programs in agencies whose mission is to protect the health and welfare of the American public.

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Third-Party Audits Aren't a Panacea for Increasing Safety

The third-party audit system, in which private companies take over responsibility for inspecting worksites and production facilities, has been shown to expose Americans to significant health and safety risks while eating, working, and breathing.

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House Attack on Public Protections Continues with Passage of the REINS Act

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2011—The House today passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), represents an extreme attack on safeguards that protect our environment, food, children's toys, workplaces, health, civil rights, and economy.

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House Passes Regulatory Accountability Act in Attempt to Make It More Difficult to Protect the Public

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2011—Today, the House passed the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), which was sponsored by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN). The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, would make it far more difficult to protect the public from environmental, health, safety, and economic hazards.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Threatens Essential Public Protections

For the past six decades, our nation's system of public protections has developed safeguards that protect us from health and safety threats. Now, however, the misleadingly titled Regulatory Accountability Act could turn this system on its head, allowing more special interest influence and inviting endless rounds of litigation.

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Congressional Budget Office Says Deregulation Will Not Create Jobs

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that concludes that deregulation will not create jobs. The report is the latest piece of evidence that the ongoing congressional attacks on public protections are misguided, at best.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Would Undermine Crucial Protections for the American People

Eliminating lead in children's toys. Requiring seatbelts in automobiles. Reducing coal dust in mines. Preventing unsafe drugs and foods from entering the marketplace. Outlawing predatory loan rates and lending practices. If the bill deliberately mislabeled the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) had been put in place in 1960, none of these protections for the American people could have been developed.

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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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Analysis of the Regulatory Accountability Act: An Unjustified, Dangerous Overhaul of Federal Rulemaking Law

The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), announced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) on Sept. 22, is a radical overhaul of the federal rulemaking process that would result in a system that allows powerful special interests to dominate. The bill would cast aside public health, worker safety, and environmental quality goals that are the basis of so many public protections and make estimated costs to businesses and the economy the most important consideration in rulemaking.

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