Last week, Senators Rob Portman and Heidi Heitkamp introduced their bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act, legislation designed to make federal regulations smarter and more effective so they better support businesses, families, and jobs. The federal regulatory process hasn’t been significantly reformed in 70 years. Here’s what employers are saying about how the bill will benefit small businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers:

“As a dairy farmer, I have no issues with regulations that make sure the milk leaving my farm is safe. However, it is discouraging to see new rules or regulations proposed in which the cost far outweighs the benefit to the consumer or farmer.  I applaud Senator Portman for leading a bipartisan effort to reform our regulatory process that focuses on science and costs and gives consideration to the impact on the farm and the consumer.” – Frank Burkett, President, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

American Farm Bureau Federation strongly supports the bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act introduced today by Senators Portman and Heitkamp. This bipartisan effort is one that should be welcomed by all stakeholders – farmers, ranchers, policymakers, state officials, environmentalists, scientists – anyone who wants a system that is open, transparent, and fair and who recognizes the current system fails to live up to our expectations… We applaud Senators Portman and Heitkamp for their leadership in assuring that agencies cannot ‘tip the scales’ in favor of their own proposals by using social media to advocate for them. This amendment is an important improvement to the Regulatory Accountability Act and we strongly support it. Over the past 40 years, presidents of both parties have enunciated principles found in this bill.  The RAA builds on those bipartisan principles. We support this legislative reform and will be working with senators on both sides of the aisle in pressing for its early consideration.” – American Farm Bureau Federation

Small business owners are grateful that Senator Portman is working to give them a voice in the regulatory process. They consistently tell us that one of their top problems is regulations and red tape. New and confusing rules are especially hard on small businesses because they lack the resources of bigger companies who have lawyers and compliance specialists.” – Juanita Duggan, President and CEO, Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, manufacturers have seen many actions from President Trump to provide regulatory relief. Now, there’s good news coming from the Senate as well. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have released the Regulatory Accountability Act, which, in their words is ‘designed to make federal regulations smarter and more effective so they better support businesses, families, and jobs by modernizing the federal regulatory process that hasn’t been significantly reformed in 70 years.’ Indeed, this is the kind of bipartisan approach to regulatory reform that manufacturers have been advocating for years. Among its key provisions are cost-benefit analysis, greater transparency, an automatic review process and evidence-based rulemaking…. Right now, manufacturers are subject to 297,696 restrictions and rules from federal regulations. The annual compliance costs can total almost $35,000 for a small manufacturer. That needs to change, and the Portman-Heitkamp bill is a step in the right direction.” – Aric Newhouse, Senior Vice President at National Association of Manufacturers

NAHB commends Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) for introducing the Regulatory Accountability Act. This bipartisan legislation will help ease regulatory burdens on home builders and other small businesses by making the regulatory process more transparent, federal agencies more accountable and regulations more cost-effective.” – National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

Americans deserve regulations that do more good than harm, and the Regulatory Accountability Act would make that common sense standard the law. They also deserve transparency when it comes to the costs, benefits and other supporting data behind the most expensive and complex regulatory proposals. The bill provides that welcome clarity and the opportunity for public input. We appreciate this focus by Senators Portman and Heitkamp and urge quick passage of legislation that takes effective steps to provide accountability in the regulatory process, including a judicially-enforceable cost-benefit test.” Donna Harman, President and CEO, American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)

The public has a right to know the costs and benefits of regulations and the quality of scientific and economic analysis used to support them. Congress should hold all regulatory agencies accountable by law to ensure smarter regulation, and this bill will help do that. Sensible regulations can provide important public benefits, but poorly designed regulations can undermine sustainable development and erode the public’s confidence in our government. AWC thanks Senators Portman and Heitkamp for their leadership on regulatory reform and urges quick action on the bill.” – Robert Glowinski, President and CEO, American Wood Council (AWC)

Wheat producers continue to face an ever-tightening maze of regulations which can be taxing and difficult to navigate. Overzealous regulations can place unnecessary burdens on farmers and hinder their ability to carry out the day-to-day operations, which can marginalize their profits and become costly for taxpayers. NAWG welcomes The RAA which creates a better regulatory framework and process from the get go, so we won’t have to keep facing increased regulatory burdens that don’t show substantial benefits. Wheat growers want to ensure a safe, affordable and abundant food supply for all our customers and a safe working environment for ourselves, families and employees, but if we are faced with complicated regulations that add to our cost of production, it becomes more difficult to maintain a viable farming operation, especially with low commodity prices. We thank Congress for continuing to address regulatory issues impacting agriculture and Senators Portman and Heitkamp for introducing this bi-partisan bill.” – David Schemm, President, National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)

This new bipartisan proposal will go a long way in helping address regulatory overreach that saddles employers with billions of dollars in new compliance costs without delivering meaningful new environmental, safety or labor improvements. Sens. Portman, Heitkamp and the bill’s other co-sponsors understand that there is a better way to protect workers and the environment without simultaneously undermining economic growth and stifling employment.” – Stephen E. Sandherr, Chief Executive Officer, Associated General Contractors of America

The business community asked the U.S. Senate to take action to make regulatory reform a reality this year, and they answered that call today. We applaud Senators Portman and Heitkamp for continuing to take leadership on this issue and proving to America that bipartisanship is still alive in Washington. The rules governing the federal regulatory system were written in the Truman administration, with few updates since then. Now, under the Trump administration, it’s past time to modernize the process. The Regulatory Accountability Act would increase scrutiny of the most expensive rules that cut across industries and sectors, requiring greater transparency and agency accountability. We encourage all Senators to support this bipartisan reform legislation that can encourage business expansion, spur job creation, and ultimately help grow the American economy.” – Neil Bradley, Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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