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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 16, 2020.
Regulatory Accountability Act
This bill expands and provides statutory authority for notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures to require federal agencies to consider (1) whether a rulemaking is required by statute or is within the discretion of the agency, (2) whether existing laws or rules could be amended or rescinded to address the problem, and (3) reasonable alternatives to a new rule.
For proposed major or high-impact rules that have a specified significant economic impact or adverse effect on the public health or safety, an agency must
publish notice of such rulemaking to invite interested parties to propose alternatives and ideas to accomplish the agency's objectives; allow persons interested in high-impact or certain major rules to petition for a public hearing with oral presentation, cross-examination, and the burden of proof on the proponent of the rule; adopt the rule that maximizes net benefits within the scope of the statutory provision authorizing the rule, unless the agency explains the costs and benefits that justify adopting an alternative rule and such rule is approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA); and publish a framework and metrics for measuring the ongoing effectiveness of the rule. Agencies must notify OIRA with certain information about a proposed rulemaking, including specified discussion and preliminary explanations concerning a major or high-impact rule. Further, OIRA must establish certain rulemaking guidelines.
Additionally, the bill (1) revises the scope of judicial review of agency actions, and (2) establishes requirements for agencies issuing guidance.