IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 21, 2015
Ms. Heitkamp (for herself and Mr. Lankford) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
To improve the effectiveness of major rules in accomplishing their regulatory objectives by promoting retrospective review, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act of 2015 or the
Smarter Regs Act of 2015.
Incorporating retrospective review into new major rules
Subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended—
in section 551—
in paragraph (13), by striking
; and and inserting a semicolon;
in paragraph (14), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
by adding at the end the following:
Administrator means the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget; and
major rule means any rule that the Administrator finds has resulted in or is likely to result in—
an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more;
a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or
significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.
in section 553, by adding at the end the following:
Beginning 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, when an agency publishes a proposed or final major rule in the Federal Register, the agency shall include a framework for reassessing the major rule under paragraph (2), which shall include—
a clear statement of the regulatory objectives of the major rule, including the societal benefit and cost of the major rule;
the methodology by which the agency plans to analyze the major rule, including metrics by which the agency can measure—
the effectiveness and benefits of the major rule in producing the regulatory objectives of the major rule; and
the impacts, including any costs, of the major rule on regulated entities;
a plan for gathering data regarding the metrics described in subparagraph (B) on an ongoing basis, or at periodic times, during the implementation of the major rule, including the method by which the agency will invite the public to participate in the review process and seek input from other agencies, taking into account any burden to the public in supplying relevant data to agencies; and
a specific time frame, as appropriate to the major rule and not more than 10 years, under which the agency shall conduct the reassessment of the major rule in accordance with paragraph (2)(A).
Each agency shall assess the data collected under paragraph (1)(C), using the methodology set forth in paragraph (1)(B), with respect to a major rule—
to analyze how the actual benefits and costs of the major rule may have varied from those anticipated at the time the major rule was issued; and
to determine whether—
the major rule is accomplishing its regulatory objective;
the major rule has been rendered unnecessary, taking into consideration—
changes in the subject area affected by the major rule; and
whether the major rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other rules or, to the extent feasible, State and local government regulations; and
other alternatives to the major rule or modification of the major rule could achieve better results while imposing a smaller burden on society or at a lower cost, taking into consideration any cost already incurred.
If, after a reassessment of a major rule under subparagraph (A), an agency determines that the major rule will remain in effect with or without modification, the agency shall—
determine a specific time, as appropriate to the major rule and not more than 10 years, under which the agency shall conduct another assessment of the major rule in accordance with subparagraph (A); and
if the assessment conducted under clause (i) does not result in a repeal of the major rule, periodically reassess the major rule in accordance with subparagraph (A) to ensure the major rule continues to meet the regulatory objective.
Not later than 180 days after the date on which an agency completes a reassessment of a major rule under subparagraph (A), the agency shall publish a notice of availability of the results of the reassessment in the Federal Register, including the specific time for any subsequent assessment of the major rule under subparagraph (B)(i), if applicable.
The Administrator shall—
issue guidance for agencies regarding the development of the framework under paragraph (1) and the conduct of the reassessments under paragraph (2)(A);
oversee the timely compliance of agencies with this subsection; and
ensure that the results of each reassessment conducted under paragraph (2)(A) are—
published promptly on a centralized Federal website; and
noticed in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (2)(C).
Rule of construction
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect—
the authority of an agency to reassess or modify a major rule of the agency earlier than the end of the time frame specified for the major rule under paragraph (1)(D); or
any other provision of law that requires an agency to conduct retrospective reviews of rules issued by the agency.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the amendments made by subsection (a).