Text: H.R.5590 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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HR 5590 IH
102d CONGRESS
2d Session
 H. R. 5590
To improve the quality of agency regulations, to increase agency accountability
for regulatory actions, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 9, 1992
Mr. HORTON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on Government Operations
A BILL
To improve the quality of agency regulations, to increase agency accountability
for regulatory actions, and for other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  This Act may be cited as the `Regulatory Improvement and Accountability
  Act of 1992'.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.
  Section 3501 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in paragraph (5) by striking `and' after the semicolon;
  (2) in paragraph (6) by striking the period and inserting a semicolon; and
  (3) by adding at the end the following:
  `(7) to reduce the burdens of existing and future regulations in order
  to promote the nation's economic growth, productivity, competitiveness,
  and general welfare;
  `(8) generally, to take care that regulations achieve the national goals and
  policies of statutory law in an effective, efficient, and rational manner;
  `(9) to increase agency accountability for regulatory actions;
  `(10) to provide for presidential oversight of the regulatory process;
  `(11) to minimize duplication and conflict of regulations; and
  `(12) to ensure well-reasoned regulations.'.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
  Section 3502 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in paragraph (3) by inserting `or in complying with a regulation'
  after `agency';
  (2) by redesignating paragraphs (15) through (17) as paragraphs (16)
  through (18), respectively;
  (3) by inserting after paragraph (14) the following:
  `(15) the term `major rule' means any regulation that is likely to
  result in--
  `(A) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;
  `(B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual
  industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic
  regions; or
  `(C) 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 or
  export markets;';
  (4) at the end of paragraph (17) (as redesignated by paragraph (1) of this
  section), by striking `and' after the semicolon;
  (5) at the end of paragraph (18) (as redesignated by paragraph (1) of this
  section), by striking the period and inserting `; and'; and
  (6) by adding at the end the following:
  `(19) each of the terms `regulation' and `rule'--
  `(A) means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect
  designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or describing
  the procedure or practice requirements of an agency;
  `(B) includes any regulation or practice or procedure requirement related to
  the administration of the Export Administration Act, except a regulation or
  requirement that the Director determines relates to a military or foreign
  affairs function of the United States; and
  `(C) does not include--
  `(i) administrative actions governed by the provisions of sections 556
  and 557 of title 5;
  `(ii) regulations issued with respect to a military or foreign affairs
  function of the United States; or
  `(iii) regulations related to agency organization, management, or
  personnel.'.
SEC. 4. OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS.
  Section 3503(b) of title 44, United States Code, is amended in the last
  sentence, by inserting `and regulatory oversight' after `policy'.
SEC. 5. AUTHORITY AND FUNCTIONS OF DIRECTOR.
  Section 3504 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in the first sentence of subsection (a)--
  (A) by striking `The' and inserting `Under the direction of the President,
  the',
  (B) by inserting `and regulations' after `requests', and
  (C) by inserting `and regulatory' after `paperwork',
  (2) by redesignating subsections (c) through (h) as subsections (e) through
  (j), respectively; and
  (3) by inserting after subsection (b) the following:
  `(c) The general regulatory oversight policy functions of the Director
  shall include--
  `(1) developing and implementing uniform and consistent regulatory policies
  and overseeing the development of regulatory principles, standards, and
  guidelines and promoting their use;
  `(2) initiating and reviewing proposals for changes in legislation,
  regulations, and agency procedures to improve regulatory practices, and
  informing the President and the Congress on the progress made therein;
  `(3) coordinating, through the review of budget proposals and as otherwise
  provided in this section, agency regulatory practices;
  `(4) evaluating agency regulatory practices to determine their adequacy
  and efficiency, to determine the impact of such practices on our nation's
  economic competitiveness, and to determine compliance of such practices
  with the policies, principles, standards, and guidelines promulgated by
  the Director;
  `(5) overseeing planning for, and conduct of research with respect to,
  Federal regulatory practices; and
  `(6) reviewing any preliminary or final Regulatory Impact Analysis, notice of
  proposed rulemaking, or final rule based on the requirements of this chapter.
  `(d) The regulatory clearance and other regulatory control functions of
  the Director shall include--
  `(1) designating any draft or existing rule as a major rule;
  `(2) preparing and promulgating uniform standards for the identification
  major rules and the development of Regulatory Impact Analyses;
  `(3) requiring an agency to obtain and evaluate, in connection with a
  regulation, any additional relevant data from any appropriate source;
  `(4) waiving the requirements of this chapter with respect to any draft
  or existing major rule;
  `(5) identifying duplicative, overlapping, and conflicting rules, existing
  or draft, and existing or draft rules that are inconsistent with the
  policies underlying statutes governing agencies other than the issuing
  agency or with the purposes of this chapter, and, in each such case,
  requiring appropriate interagency consultation to minimize or eliminate
  such duplication, overlap, or conflict;
  `(6) developing procedures for estimating the annual benefits and costs
  of agency regulations, on both an aggregate and economic or industrial
  sector basis, for purposes of compiling a regulatory budget and assessing
  the impact of such regulations on our nation's economic competitiveness;
  `(7) in consultation with interested agencies, preparing for consideration
  by the President recommendations for changes in the agencies' statutes;
  `(8) designating currently effective rules for review in accordance with
  this chapter, and establishing schedules for reviews and analyses under
  this chapter;
  `(9) establishing a regulatory planning process by which the President
  will develop and publish a regulatory program for each year;
  `(10) considering the consistency of the draft regulatory programs submitted
  by the agencies with the President's policies and priorities and the draft
  regulatory programs submitted by other agencies, and identifying such
  further regulatory or deregulatory actions as may, in the Director's view,
  be necessary in order to achieve such consistency; and
  `(11) monitoring agency compliance with the requirements of this chapter
  and advising the President with respect to such compliance.'.
SEC. 6. FEDERAL AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.
  Section 3506 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in subsection (a)--
  (A) by inserting `and regulatory review' after `management'; and
  (B) by inserting `and regulatory oversight' after `information' the second
  place that word appears; and
  (2) by adding at the end the following:
  `(e) In promulgating new regulations, reviewing existing regulations,
  and developing legislative proposals concerning regulation, all agencies,
  to the extent permitted by law, shall adhere to the following requirements:
  `(1) Administrative decisions shall be based on adequate information
  concerning the need for and consequences of proposed government action.
  `(2) Regulatory action shall not be undertaken unless the potential benefits
  to society for the regulation outweigh the potential costs to society.
  `(3) Regulatory objectives shall be chosen to maximize the net benefits
  to society and avoid, to the extent possible, adverse effects upon our
  nation's economic competitiveness.
  `(4) Among alternative approaches to any given regulatory objective,
  the alternative involving the least net cost to society shall be chosen.
  `(5) Agencies shall set regulatory priorities with the aim of maximizing
  the aggregate net benefits to society, taking into account the condition
  of the particular industries affected by regulations; the condition of the
  national economy; and other regulatory actions contemplated for the future.
  `(f)(1) In order to implement subsection (e), each agency shall, in
  connection with every major rule, prepare, and to the extent permitted by
  law consider, a Regulatory Impact Analysis. Such analyses may be combined
  with any Regulatory Flexibility Analyses performed under section 603 and
  604 of title 5.
  `(2) Each agency shall initially determine whether a rule it intends to
  propose or to issue is a major rule. The Director may, in accordance with
  this chapter, prescribe criteria for making such determinations, order
  a rule to be treated as a major rule, and to require any set of related
  rules to be considered together as a major rule.
  `(3) Except as provided in subsection (i), agencies shall prepare Regulatory
  Impact Analyses of major rules and transmit them, along with all notices
  of proposed rulemaking and all final rules, to the Director as follows:
  `(A) If no notice of proposed rulemaking is to be published for a proposed
  major rule that is not an emergency rule, the agency shall prepare only a
  final Regulatory Impact Analysis, which shall be transmitted, along with
  the draft rule, to the Director at least 60 days prior to the publication
  of the major rule as a final rule.
  `(B) With respect to all other major rules, the agency shall prepare a
  preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis, which shall be transmitted, along
  with a notice of proposed rulemaking, to the Director at least 60 days prior
  to the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking, and a final Regulatory
  Impact Analysis, which shall be transmitted along with the final rule at
  least 30 days prior to the publication of the major rule as a final rule.
  `(C) For all rules other than major rules, agencies shall submit to the
  Director, at least 10 days prior to publication, every notice of proposed
  rulemaking and final rule.
  `(4) To permit each draft major rule to be analyzed in light of the
  requirements stated in subsection (e), each preliminary and final Regulatory
  Impact Analysis shall contain the following information:
  `(A) A description of the potential benefits of the rule, including any
  beneficial effects that cannot be quantified in monetary terms, and the
  identification of those likely to receive the benefits.
  `(B) A description of the potential costs of the rule, including any
  adverse effects that cannot be quantified in monetary terms (including
  adverse effects upon our nation's economic competitiveness), and the
  identification of those likely to bear the costs.
  `(C) A determination of the potential net benefits of the rule, including
  an evaluation of effects that cannot be quantified in monetary terms.
  `(D) A description of alternative approaches that could substantially
  achieve the same regulatory goal at lower cost, together with an analysis
  of this potential benefit and costs and a brief explanation of the legal
  reasons why such alternatives, if proposed, could not be adopted.
  `(E) Unless covered by a description required under subparagraph (D),
  an explanation of any legal reasons why the rule cannot be based on the
  requirements set forth in subsection (e).
  `(5)(A) Upon the request of the Director, an agency shall consult with the
  Director concerning the review of a preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis
  or notice of proposed rulemaking under this chapter, and shall, subject to
  subsection (i), refrain from publishing its preliminary Regulatory Impact
  Analysis or notice of proposed rulemaking until such review is concluded.
  `(B) Upon receiving notice that the Director intends to submit views
  with respect to any final Regulatory Impact Analysis or final rule, the
  agency shall, subject to subsection (i), refrain from publishing its final
  Regulatory Impact Analysis or final rule until the agency has responded
  to the Director's views, and incorporated those views and the agency's
  response in the rulemaking file.
  `(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as displacing the agencies'
  responsibilities delegated by law.
  `(6) For every rule for which an agency publishes a notice of proposed
  rulemaking, the agency shall include in its notice--
  `(A) a brief statement setting forth the agency's initial determination
  whether the proposed rule is a major rule, together with the reasons
  underlying that determination; and
  `(B) for each proposed major rule, a brief summary of the agency's
  preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis.
  `(7) Agencies shall make their preliminary and final Regulatory Impact
  Analysis available to the public.
  `(8) Agencies shall initiate reviews of currently effective rules in
  accordance with the purposes of this chapter, and perform Regulatory Impact
  Analyses of currently effective major rules.
  `(g) Before approving any final major rule, each agency shall--
  `(1) make a determination that the regulation is clearly within the
  authority delegated by law and consistent with congressional intent, and
  include in the Federal Register at the time of promulgation a memorandum
  of law supporting that determination; and
  `(2) make a determination that the factual conclusions upon which the
  rule is based have a substantial support in the agency record, viewed as a
  whole, with full attention to public comments in general and the comments
  of persons directly affected by the rule in particular;
  `(h)(1) Each agency shall publish, in October and April of each year,
  an agenda of proposed regulations that the agency has issued or expects to
  issue, and currently effective rules that are under agency review pursuant to
  this chapter. These agendas may be incorporated with the agendas published
  under section 602 of title 5 and shall contain at the minimum--
  `(A) a summary of the nature of each major rule being considered, the
  objectives and legal basis for the issuance of the rule, and an approximate
  schedule for completing action on any major rule for which the agency has
  issued a notice of proposed rulemaking;
  `(B) the name and telephone number of a knowledgeable agency official for
  each item on the agenda; and
  `(C) a list of existing regulations to be reviewed under the terms of this
  chapter, and a brief discussion of each such regulation.
  `(2) The Director may, to the extent permitted by law--
  `(A) require agencies to provide additional information in an agenda; and
  `(B) require publication of the agenda in any form.
  `(i)(1) The procedures prescribed by this chapter applicable to agency
  preparation of Regulatory Impact Analyses and the regulatory clearance
  and other regulatory control functions of the Director shall not apply to--
  `(A) any regulation that responds to an emergency situation, except that any
  such regulation shall be reported to the Director as soon as is practicable,
  the agency shall publish in the Federal Register a statement of the reasons
  why it is impracticable for the agency to follow the procedures in this
  chapter with respect to such a rule, and the agency shall prepare and
  transmit as soon as is practicable a Regulatory Impact Analysis of any
  such major rule; and
  `(B) any regulation for which consideration or reconsideration under the
  terms of this chapter would conflict with deadlines imposed by statute or
  by judicial order, except that any such regulation shall be reported to
  the Director together with a brief explanation of the conflict, the agency
  shall publish in the Federal Register a statement of the reasons why it is
  impracticable for the agency to follow the procedures of this chapter with
  respect to such a rule, and the agency, in consultation with the Director,
  shall adhere to the requirements of this chapter to the extent permitted
  by the statutory or judicial deadline.
  `(2) The Director may, in accordance with the purposes of this chapter,
  exempt any class or category of regulations from any or all requirements
  of this chapter.'.
SEC. 7. PUBLIC INFORMATION COLLECTION ACTIVITIES.
  Section 3507 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) by redesignating subsections (b) through (h) as subsections (c) through
  (i), respectively, and inserting after subsection (a) the following new
  subsection:
  `(b) An agency shall not implement or sponsor the implementation of a
  regulation unless, in advance of the adoption or revision of the regulation--
  `(1) the agency has taken actions, including consultation with the
  Director, to--
  `(A) adhere to the requirements in section 3506(e); and
  `(B) comply with procedures prescribed by this chapter applicable to agency
  preparation of Regulatory Impact Analyses and the regulatory clearance
  and other regulatory control functions of the Director;
  `(2) the agency (A) has submitted to the Director the draft regulation,
  copies of pertinent statutes and other related materials as the Director
  may specify, and an explanation of actions taken to carry out paragraph
  (1), and (B) has prepared a notice to be published in the Federal Register
  stating that the agency has made such submission (setting forth a title
  for the regulation, a brief description of the need for the regulation
  and its proposed use, a description of the likely persons affected, and
  an estimate of the burden that will result from the regulation); and
  `(3) the Director has approved the draft regulation, or the period for review
  of regulations by the Director provided under subsection (c) has elapsed.';
  (2) in subsection (c) (as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section)--
  (A) in the first sentence by inserting `or draft regulation' after `request'
  each place that word appears; and
  (B) in the third sentence--
  (i) by inserting `or draft regulation' after `request'; and
  (ii) by inserting `or implement or sponsor the implementation of the
  regulation' after `information';
  (3) in subsection (d) (as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section)--
  (A) in the first sentence by inserting `or draft regulation' after `request'
  the first place that word appears;
  (B) in the second sentence by inserting `and' after `Director,'; and
  (C) in the third sentence by inserting `or draft regulation' after `request'
  the first and second place that word appears;
  (4) in subsection (e) (as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section),
  by inserting `or draft regulation' after `request';
  (5) in subsection (g) (as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section)--
  (A) by inserting `or implement a regulation' after `information' the first
  place that word appears; and
  (B) by inserting `or regulation, respectively' after `request'; and
  (6) in subsection (i) (as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section)--
  (A) in the first sentence--
  (i) by inserting `official' after `written' the first place that word
  appears;
  (ii) by inserting `or draft regulation' after `request'; and
  (iii) by inserting `or draft regulation'; and
  (B) by inserting after the first sentence the following: `The written
  communications pertaining to a draft regulation under review shall be
  made available upon written request made to the Office after publication
  of the draft rule. The Administrator shall send the written communications
  pertaining to a draft regulation under review from any person not employed
  by the Federal Government to the agency. The Administrator shall also
  advise the agency of all formal oral communications and scheduled meetings
  that the Office has with persons not employed by the Federal Government
  pertaining to the substance of a draft regulation under review.'.
SEC. 8. PUBLIC PROTECTION.
  Section 3512 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) by inserting `or to comply with a regulation adopted or revised by an
  agency' after `agency'; and
  (2) by inserting `or if the regulation was adopted or revised after December
  31, 1993,' after `1981'.
SEC. 9. CONSULTATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES AND THE PUBLIC.
  Section 3517 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by inserting
  `and draft regulations' after `requests'.
SEC. 10. EFFECT ON EXISTING LAWS AND REGULATIONS.
  Section 3518 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in subsection (a), by striking `for Federal information activities'; and
  (2) by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:
  `(e) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted as increasing or decreasing
  the authority of the President, the Office of Management and Budget, or the
  Director thereof, under the laws of the United States, with respect to the
  substantive policies and programs of departments, agencies, and offices,
  including the substantive authority of any Federal agency to enforce laws
  regarding public health and safety, the environment, and civil rights. This
  chapter shall be interpreted so as to achieve, through regulations, the
  national goals and policies of statutory law in an effective, efficient,
  and rational manner.'.
SEC. 11. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
  Section 3520 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in subsection (a), by striking `$5,500,000 for each of the fiscal
  years 1987, 1988, and 1989.' and inserting `$7,000,000 for fiscal year
  1993, and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1994, 1995, 1996,
  and 1997.'; and
  (2) in subsection (c), by striking the second sentence.
SEC. 12. TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
  Chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
  (1) in section 3504(j)(7) (as redesignated by section 5 of this Act),
  by striking `section 3507(c)' and inserting `section 3507(d)';
  (2) in the heading for section 3507, by inserting `and review of regulations'
  after `activities';
  (3) in section 3507(h) (as redesignated by section 7 of this Act), by
  striking `subsection (b)' and inserting `subsection (c)';
  (4) in section 3509, by striking `section 3507(c)' and inserting `section
  3507(d)';
  (5) in section 3514(a)(6), by striking `section 3507(g)' and inserting
  `section 3507(i)';
  (6) in section 3514(a)(10), by striking `section 3504(d)' and inserting
  `section 3504(f))';
  (7) in the heading for the chapter, by inserting `AND REGULATORY' after
  the word `INFORMATION'; and
  (8) in the table of sections at the beginning of the chapter, by striking
  the item relating to section 3507 and inserting the following:
`3507. Public information collection activities and review of
regulations-submission to Director; approval and delegation.'.