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.

The bill, backed by the Business Roundtable, the bank lobby, and other industry interests, would cripple independent federal agencies and the implementation of critical safety, consumer, and economic safeguards. The bill would overwhelm independent agencies with new hoops and hurdles, requiring them to carry out 13 new analytical steps when drafting new rules; this process would add months to the time it takes to complete any rule. S. 3468 would also allow the White House to review and delay rules proposed by independent agencies, thereby undermining their very status as "independent," sheltered from political influence.

We're happy and relieved that no mark up will take place in 2012, but the fight's not over. The bill has been delayed but not withdrawn. It is scheduled for a hearing sometime after Thanksgiving. We're going to keep watchdogging its progress and will be asking you to weigh in next year if it rears back to life.

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