Text: H.R.4078 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

Bill text available as:

Shown Here:
Placed on Calendar Senate (07/31/2012)


Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF or HTML/XML.




[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4078 Placed on Calendar Senate (PCS)]

                                                       Calendar No. 477
112th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4078


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 30, 2012

                     Received; read the first time

                             July 31, 2012

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action 
   until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.

    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 ``Red Tape Reduction and Small 
Business Job Creation Act''.

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Table of contents.
                  TITLE I--REGULATORY FREEZE FOR JOBS

Sec. 101. Short title.
Sec. 102. Moratorium on significant regulatory actions.
Sec. 103. Waivers and exceptions.
Sec. 104. Judicial review.
Sec. 105. Definitions.
                     TITLE II--MIDNIGHT RULE RELIEF

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Moratorium on midnight rules.
Sec. 203. Special rule on statutory, regulatory, and judicial 
                            deadlines.
Sec. 204. Exception.
Sec. 205. Definitions.
             TITLE III--REGULATORY DECREES AND SETTLEMENTS

Sec. 301. Short title.
Sec. 302. Consent decree and settlement reform.
Sec. 303. Motions to modify consent decrees.
Sec. 304. Effective date.
        TITLE IV--UNFUNDED MANDATES INFORMATION AND TRANSPARENCY

Sec. 401. Short title.
Sec. 402. Purpose.
Sec. 403. Providing for Congressional Budget Office studies on policies 
                            involving changes in conditions of grant 
                            aid.
Sec. 404. Clarifying the definition of direct costs to reflect 
                            Congressional Budget Office practice.
Sec. 405. Expanding the scope of reporting requirements to include 
                            regulations imposed by independent 
                            regulatory agencies.
Sec. 406. Amendments to replace Office of Management and Budget with 
                            Office of Information and Regulatory 
                            Affairs.
Sec. 407. Applying substantive point of order to private sector 
                            mandates.
Sec. 408. Regulatory process and principles.
Sec. 409. Expanding the scope of statements to accompany significant 
                            regulatory actions.
Sec. 410. Enhanced stakeholder consultation.
Sec. 411. New authorities and responsibilities for Office of 
                            Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Sec. 412. Retrospective analysis of existing Federal regulations.
Sec. 413. Expansion of judicial review.
   TITLE V--IMPROVED COORDINATION OF AGENCY ACTIONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL 
                               DOCUMENTS

Sec. 501. Short title.
Sec. 502. Coordination of agency administrative operations for 
                            efficient decisionmaking.
 TITLE VI--SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION REGULATORY ACCOUNTABILITY

Sec. 601. Short title.
Sec. 602. Consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission of 
                            the costs and benefits of its regulations 
                            and certain other agency actions.
Sec. 603. Sense of Congress relating to other regulatory entities.
Sec. 604. Interpretive guidance null and void.
Sec. 605. Other SEC action prohibited.
  TITLE VII--CONSIDERATION BY COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION OF 
                       CERTAIN COSTS AND BENEFITS

Sec. 701. Consideration by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of 
                            the costs and benefits of its regulations 
                            and orders.
   TITLE VIII--ENSURING HIGH STANDARDS FOR AGENCY USE OF SCIENTIFIC 
                              INFORMATION

Sec. 801. Requirement for final guidelines.
     TITLE IX--TRACKING THE COST TO TAXPAYERS OF FEDERAL LITIGATION

Sec. 901. Short title.
Sec. 902. Modification of equal access to justice provisions.

                  TITLE I--REGULATORY FREEZE FOR JOBS

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 
2012''.

SEC. 102. MORATORIUM ON SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY ACTIONS.

    (a) Moratorium.--An agency may not take any significant regulatory 
action during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this 
Act and ending on the date that the Secretary of Labor submits the 
report under subsection (b).
    (b) Determination.--The Secretary of Labor shall submit a report to 
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget when the Secretary 
determines that the Bureau of Labor Statistics average of monthly 
unemployment rates for any quarter beginning after the date of the 
enactment of this Act is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.

SEC. 103. WAIVERS AND EXCEPTIONS.

    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, 
an agency may take a significant regulatory action only in accordance 
with subsection (b), (c), or (d) during the period described in section 
102(a).
    (b) Presidential Waiver.--An agency may take a significant 
regulatory action if the President determines by Executive Order that 
the significant regulatory action is--
            (1) necessary because of an imminent threat to health or 
        safety or other emergency;
            (2) necessary for the enforcement of criminal or civil 
        rights laws;
            (3) necessary for the national security of the United 
        States; or
            (4) issued pursuant to any statute implementing an 
        international trade agreement.
    (c) Deregulatory Exception.--An agency may take a significant 
regulatory action if the Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget certifies in 
writing that the significant regulatory action is limited to repealing 
an existing rule.
    (d) Congressional Waivers.--
            (1) Submission.--For any significant regulatory action not 
        eligible for a Presidential waiver pursuant to subsection (b), 
        the President may submit a written request to Congress for a 
        waiver of the application of section 102 for such action.
            (2) Contents.--A submission by the President under this 
        subsection shall--
                    (A) identify the significant regulatory action and 
                the scope of the requested waiver;
                    (B) describe all the reasons the significant 
                regulatory action is necessary to protect the public 
                health, safety, or welfare; and
                    (C) include an explanation of why the significant 
                regulatory action is ineligible for a Presidential 
                waiver under subsection (b).
            (3) Congressional action.--Congress shall give expeditious 
        consideration and take appropriate legislative action with 
        respect to any submission by the President under this 
        subsection.

SEC. 104. JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    (a) Review.--Any party adversely affected or aggrieved by any rule 
or guidance resulting from a regulatory action taken in violation of 
this title is entitled to judicial review in accordance with chapter 7 
of title 5, United States Code. Any determination by either the 
President or the Secretary of Labor under this title shall be subject 
to judicial review under such chapter.
    (b) Jurisdiction.--Each court having jurisdiction to review any 
rule or guidance resulting from a significant regulatory action for 
compliance with any other provision of law shall have jurisdiction to 
review all claims under this title.
    (c) Relief.--In granting any relief in any civil action under this 
section, the court shall order the agency to take corrective action 
consistent with this title and chapter 7 of title 5, United States 
Code, including remanding the rule or guidance resulting from the 
significant regulatory action to the agency and enjoining the 
application or enforcement of that rule or guidance, unless the court 
finds by a preponderance of the evidence that application or 
enforcement is required to protect against an imminent and serious 
threat to the national security of the United States.
    (d) Reasonable Attorney's Fees for Small Businesses.--The court 
shall award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to a substantially 
prevailing small business in any civil action arising under this title. 
A small business may qualify as substantially prevailing even without 
obtaining a final judgment in its favor if the agency that took the 
significant regulatory action changes its position after the civil 
action is filed. Such award shall be paid out of the administrative 
budget of the office in the agency that took the challenged agency 
action.
    (e) Limitation on Commencing Civil Action.--A party may seek and 
obtain judicial review during the 1-year period beginning on the date 
of the challenged agency action or within 90 days after an enforcement 
action or notice thereof, except that where another provision of law 
requires that a civil action be commenced before the expiration of that 
1-year period, such lesser period shall apply.
    (f) Small Business Defined.--In this section, the term ``small 
business'' means any business, including an unincorporated business or 
a sole proprietorship, that employs not more than 500 employees or that 
has a net worth of less than $7,000,000 on the date a civil action 
arising under this title is filed.

SEC. 105. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given that 
        term under section 551 of title 5, United States Code, except 
        that such term does not include--
                    (A) the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve 
                System;
                    (B) the Federal Open Market Committee; or
                    (C) the United States Postal Service.
            (2) Regulatory action.--The term ``regulatory action'' 
        means any substantive action by an agency that promulgates or 
        is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or 
        regulation, including a notice of inquiry, an advance notice of 
        proposed rulemaking, and a notice of proposed rulemaking.
            (3) Rule.--The term ``rule'' has the meaning given that 
        term under section 551 of title 5, United States Code.
            (4) Significant regulatory action.--The term ``significant 
        regulatory action'' means any regulatory action that is likely 
        to result in a rule or guidance that the Administrator of the 
        Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of 
        Management and Budget finds is likely to have an annual cost to 
        the economy of $50,000,000 or more or adversely affect in a 
        material way the economy, a sector of the economy, 
        productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health 
        or safety, small entities, or State, local, or tribal 
        governments or communities. In determining the annual cost to 
        the economy under this paragraph, the Administrator shall take 
        into account any expected change in revenue of businesses that 
        will be caused by such regulatory action, as well as any change 
        in revenue of businesses that has already taken place as 
        businesses prepare for the implementation of the regulatory 
        action. If meeting that definition, such term includes any 
        requirement by the Secretary of the Treasury, except to the 
        extent provided in Treasury Regulations as in effect on 
        February 21, 2011, that a payor of interest make an information 
        return in the case of interest--
            (1) which is described in section 871(i)(2)(A) of the 
        Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and
            (2) which is paid--
                    (A) to a nonresident alien, and
                    (B) on a deposit maintained at an office within the 
                United States.
            (5) Small entity.--The term ``small entity'' has the 
        meaning given that term under section 601(6) of title 5, United 
        States Code.

                     TITLE II--MIDNIGHT RULE RELIEF

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Midnight Rule Relief Act of 
2012''.

SEC. 202. MORATORIUM ON MIDNIGHT RULES.

    Except as provided under sections 203 and 204, during the 
moratorium period, an agency may not propose or finalize any midnight 
rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget finds is likely to 
result in an annual cost to the economy of $50,000,000 or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, small entities, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities.

SEC. 203. SPECIAL RULE ON STATUTORY, REGULATORY, AND JUDICIAL 
              DEADLINES.

    (a) In General.--Section 202 shall not apply with respect to any 
deadline--
            (1) for, relating to, or involving any midnight rule;
            (2) that was established before the beginning of the 
        moratorium period; and
            (3) that is required to be taken during the moratorium 
        period.
    (b) Publication of Deadlines.--Not later than 30 days after the 
beginning of a moratorium period, the Administrator of the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and 
Budget shall identify and publish in the Federal Register a list of 
deadlines covered by subsection (a).

SEC. 204. EXCEPTION.

    (a) Emergency Exception.--Section 202 shall not apply to a midnight 
rule if the President determines that the midnight rule is--
            (1) necessary because of an imminent threat to health or 
        safety or other emergency;
            (2) necessary for the enforcement of criminal or civil 
        rights laws;
            (3) necessary for the national security of the United 
        States; or
            (4) issued pursuant to any statute implementing an 
        international trade agreement.
    (b) Deregulatory Exception.--Section 202 shall not apply to a 
midnight rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget certifies 
in writing is limited to repealing an existing rule.
    (c) Notice of Exceptions.--Not later than 30 days after a 
determination under subsection (a) or a certification is made under 
subsection (b), the head of the relevant agency shall publish in the 
Federal Register any midnight rule excluded from the moratorium period 
due to an exception under this section.

SEC. 205. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given that 
        term under section 551 of title 5, United States Code, except 
        that such term does not include--
                    (A) the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve 
                System;
                    (B) the Federal Open Market Committee; or
                    (C) the United States Postal Service.
            (2) Deadline.--The term ``deadline'' means any date certain 
        for fulfilling any obligation or exercising any authority 
        established by or under any Federal statute or rule, or by or 
        under any court order implementing any Federal statute, 
        regulation, or rule.
            (3) Moratorium period.--The term ``moratorium period'' 
        means the day after the day referred to in section 1 of title 
        3, United States Code, through January 20 of the following 
        year, in which a President is not serving a consecutive term.
            (4) Midnight rule.--The term ``midnight rule'' means an 
        agency statement of general applicability and future effect, 
        issued during the moratorium period, that is intended to have 
        the force and effect of law and is designed--
                    (A) to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or 
                policy; or
                    (B) to describe the procedure or practice 
                requirements of an agency.
            (5) Rule.--The term ``rule'' has the meaning given that 
        term under section 551 of title 5, United States Code.
            (6) Small entity.--The term ``small entity'' has the 
        meaning given that term under section 601(6) of title 5, United 
        States Code.

             TITLE III--REGULATORY DECREES AND SETTLEMENTS

SEC. 301. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees 
and Settlements Act of 2012''.

SEC. 302. CONSENT DECREE AND SETTLEMENT REFORM.

    (a) Application.--The provisions of this section apply in the case 
of--
            (1) a consent decree or settlement agreement in an action 
        to compel agency action alleged to be unlawfully withheld or 
        unreasonably delayed that pertains to a regulatory action that 
        affects the rights of private parties other than the plaintiff 
        or the rights of State, local or Tribal government entities--
                    (A) brought under chapter 7 of title 5, United 
                States Code; or
                    (B) brought under any other statute authorizing 
                such an action; and
            (2) any other consent decree or settlement agreement that 
        requires agency action that pertains to a regulatory action 
        that affects the rights of private parties other than the 
        plaintiff or the rights of State, local or Tribal government 
        entities.
    (b) In General.--In the case of an action to be resolved by a 
consent decree or a settlement agreement described in paragraph (1), 
the following shall apply:
            (1) The complaint in the action, the consent decree or 
        settlement agreement, the statutory basis for the consent 
        decree or settlement agreement and its terms, and any award of 
        attorneys' fees or costs shall be published, including 
        electronically, in a readily accessible manner by the defendant 
        agency.
            (2) Until the conclusion of an opportunity for affected 
        parties to intervene in the action, a party may not file with 
        the court a motion for a consent decree or to dismiss the case 
        pursuant to a settlement agreement.
            (3) In considering a motion to intervene by any party that 
        would be affected by the agency action in dispute, the court 
        shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that the interests of that 
        party would not be represented adequately by the current 
        parties to the action. In considering a motion to intervene 
        filed by a State, local or Tribal government entity, the court 
        shall take due account of whether the movant--
                    (A) administers jointly with the defendant agency 
                the statutory provisions that give rise to the 
                regulatory duty alleged in the complaint; or
                    (B) administers State, local or Tribal regulatory 
                authority that would be preempted by the defendant 
                agency's discharge of the regulatory duty alleged in 
                the complaint.
            (4) If the court grants a motion to intervene in the 
        action, the court shall include the plaintiff, the defendant 
        agency, and the intervenors in settlement discussions. 
        Settlement efforts conducted shall be pursuant to a court's 
        mediation or alternative dispute resolution program, or by a 
        district judge, magistrate judge, or special master, as 
        determined by the assigned judge.
            (5) The defendant agency shall publish in the Federal 
        Register and by electronic means any proposed consent decree or 
        settlement agreement for no fewer than 60 days of public 
        comment before filing it with the court, including a statement 
        of the statutory basis for the proposed consent decree or 
        settlement agreement and its terms, allowing comment on any 
        issue related to the matters alleged in the complaint or 
        addressed or affected by the consent decree or settlement 
        agreement.
            (6) The defendant agency shall--
                    (A) respond to public comments received under 
                paragraph (5); and
                    (B) when moving that the court enter the consent 
                decree or for dismissal pursuant to the settlement 
                agreement--
                            (i) inform the court of the statutory basis 
                        for the proposed consent decree or settlement 
                        agreement and its terms;
                            (ii) submit to the court a summary of the 
                        public comments and agency responses;
                            (iii) certify the index to the 
                        administrative record of the notice and comment 
                        proceeding to the court; and
                            (iv) make that record fully accessible to 
                        the court.
            (7) The court shall include in the judicial record the full 
        administrative record, the index to which was certified by the 
        agency under paragraph (6).
            (8) If the consent decree or settlement agreement requires 
        an agency action by a date certain, the agency shall, when 
        moving for entry of the consent decree or dismissal based on 
        the settlement agreement--
                    (A) inform the court of any uncompleted mandatory 
                duties to take regulatory action that the decree or 
                agreement does not address;
                    (B) how the decree or agreement, if approved, would 
                affect the discharge of those duties; and
                    (C) why the decree's or agreement's effects on the 
                order in which the agency discharges its mandatory 
                duties is in the public interest.
            (9) The court shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that it 
        is proper to allow amicus participation by any party who filed 
        public comments on the consent decree or settlement agreement 
        during the court's consideration of a motion to enter the 
        decree or dismiss the case on the basis of the agreement.
            (10) The court shall ensure that the proposed consent 
        decree or settlement agreement allows sufficient time and 
        procedure for the agency to comply with chapter 5 of title 5, 
        United States Code, and other applicable statutes that govern 
        rule making and, unless contrary to the public interest, the 
        provisions of any executive orders that govern rule making.
            (11) The defendant agency may, at its discretion, hold a 
        public hearing pursuant to notice in the Federal Register and 
        by electronic means, on whether to enter into the consent 
        decree or settlement agreement. If such a hearing is held, 
        then, in accordance with paragraph (6), the agency shall submit 
        to the court a summary of the proceedings and the certified 
        index to the hearing record, full access to the hearing record 
        shall be given to the court, and the full hearing record shall 
        be included in the judicial record.
            (12) The Attorney General, in cases litigated by the 
        Department of Justice, or the head of the defendant Federal 
        agency, in cases litigated independently by that agency, shall 
        certify to the court his or her approval of any proposed 
        consent decree or settlement agreement that contains any of the 
        following terms--
                    (A) in the case of a consent decree, terms that--
                            (i) convert into mandatory duties the 
                        otherwise discretionary authorities of an 
                        agency to propose, promulgate, revise or amend 
                        regulations;
                            (ii) commit the agency to expend funds that 
                        Congress has not appropriated and that have not 
                        been budgeted for the action in question, or 
                        commit an agency to seek a particular 
                        appropriation or budget authorization;
                            (iii) divest the agency of discretion 
                        committed to it by Congress or the 
                        Constitution, whether such discretionary power 
                        was granted to respond to changing 
                        circumstances, to make policy or managerial 
                        choices, or to protect the rights of third 
                        parties; or
                            (iv) otherwise afford relief that the court 
                        could not enter on its own authority upon a 
                        final judgment in the litigation; or
                    (B) in the case of a settlement agreement, terms 
                that--
                            (i) interfere with the agency's authority 
                        to revise, amend, or issue rules through the 
                        procedures set forth in chapter 5 of title 5, 
                        United States Code, or any other statute or 
                        executive order prescribing rule making 
                        procedures for rule makings that are the 
                        subject of the settlement agreement;
                            (ii) commit the agency to expend funds that 
                        Congress has not appropriated and that have not 
                        been budgeted for the action in question; or
                            (iii) provide a remedy for the agency's 
                        failure to comply with the terms of the 
                        settlement agreement other than the revival of 
                        the action resolved by the settlement 
                        agreement, if the agreement commits the agency 
                        to exercise its discretion in a particular way 
                        and such discretionary power was committed to 
                        the agency by Congress or the Constitution to 
                        respond to changing circumstances, to make 
                        policy or managerial choices, or to protect the 
                        rights of third parties.
    (c) Annual Reports.--Each agency shall submit an annual report to 
Congress on the number, identity, and content of complaints, consent 
decrees, and settlement agreements described in paragraph (1) for that 
year, the statutory basis for each consent decree or settlement 
agreement and its terms, and any awards of attorneys fees or costs in 
actions resolved by such decrees or agreements.

SEC. 303. MOTIONS TO MODIFY CONSENT DECREES.

    When a defendant agency moves the court to modify a previously 
entered consent decree described under section 302 and the basis of the 
motion is that the terms of the decree are no longer fully in the 
public interest due to the agency's obligations to fulfill other duties 
or due to changed facts and circumstances, the court shall review the 
motion and the consent decree de novo.

SEC. 304. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The provisions of this title apply to any covered consent decree or 
settlement agreement proposed to a court after the date of enactment of 
this title.

        TITLE IV--UNFUNDED MANDATES INFORMATION AND TRANSPARENCY

SEC. 401. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Unfunded Mandates Information and 
Transparency Act of 2012''.

SEC. 402. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this title is--
            (1) to improve the quality of the deliberations of Congress 
        with respect to proposed Federal mandates by--
                    (A) providing Congress and the public with more 
                complete information about the effects of such 
                mandates; and
                    (B) ensuring that Congress acts on such mandates 
                only after focused deliberation on their effects; and
            (2) to enhance the ability of Congress and the public to 
        identify Federal mandates that may impose undue harm on 
        consumers, workers, employers, small businesses, and State, 
        local, and tribal governments.

SEC. 403. PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE STUDIES ON POLICIES 
              INVOLVING CHANGES IN CONDITIONS OF GRANT AID.

    Section 202(g) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 
602(g)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(3) Additional studies.--At the request of any Chairman 
        or ranking member of the minority of a Committee of the Senate 
        or the House of Representatives, the Director shall conduct an 
        assessment comparing the authorized level of funding in a bill 
        or resolution to the prospective costs of carrying out any 
        changes to a condition of Federal assistance being imposed on 
        State, local, or tribal governments participating in the 
        Federal assistance program concerned or, in the case of a bill 
        or joint resolution that authorizes such sums as are necessary, 
        an assessment of an estimated level of funding compared to such 
        costs.''.

SEC. 404. CLARIFYING THE DEFINITION OF DIRECT COSTS TO REFLECT 
              CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE PRACTICE.

    Section 421(3) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 
658(3)(A)(i)) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A)(i), by inserting ``incur or'' 
        before ``be required''; and
            (2) in subparagraph (B), by inserting after ``to spend'' 
        the following: ``or could forgo in profits, including costs 
        passed on to consumers or other entities taking into account, 
        to the extent practicable, behavioral changes,''.

SEC. 405. EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TO INCLUDE 
              REGULATIONS IMPOSED BY INDEPENDENT REGULATORY AGENCIES.

    Paragraph (1) of section 421 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 (2 U.S.C. 658) is amended by striking ``, but does not include 
independent regulatory agencies'' and inserting ``, except it does not 
include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the 
Federal Open Market Committee''.

SEC. 406. AMENDMENTS TO REPLACE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET WITH 
              OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS.

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4; 2 
U.S.C. 1511 et seq.) is amended--
            (1) in section 103(c) (2 U.S.C. 1511(c))--
                    (A) in the subsection heading, by striking ``Office 
                of Management and Budget'' and inserting ``Office of 
                Information and Regulatory Affairs''; and
                    (B) by striking ``Director of the Office of 
                Management and Budget'' and inserting ``Administrator 
                of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs'';
            (2) in section 205(c) (2 U.S.C. 1535(c))--
                    (A) in the subsection heading, by striking ``OMB''; 
                and
                    (B) by striking ``Director of the Office of 
                Management and Budget'' and inserting ``Administrator 
                of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs''; 
                and
            (3) in section 206 (2 U.S.C. 1536), by striking ``Director 
        of the Office of Management and Budget'' and inserting 
        ``Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory 
        Affairs''.

SEC. 407. APPLYING SUBSTANTIVE POINT OF ORDER TO PRIVATE SECTOR 
              MANDATES.

    Section 425(a)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 
658d(a)(2)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``Federal intergovernmental mandates'' and 
        inserting ``Federal mandates''; and
            (2) by inserting ``or 424(b)(1)'' after ``section 
        424(a)(1)''.

SEC. 408. REGULATORY PROCESS AND PRINCIPLES.

    Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 
1531) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 201. REGULATORY PROCESS AND PRINCIPLES.

    ``(a) In General.--Each agency shall, unless otherwise expressly 
prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on 
State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector (other than 
to the extent that such regulatory actions incorporate requirements 
specifically set forth in law) in accordance with the following 
principles:
            ``(1) Each agency shall identify the problem that it 
        intends to address (including, if applicable, the failures of 
        private markets or public institutions that warrant new agency 
        action) as well as assess the significance of that problem.
            ``(2) Each agency shall examine whether existing 
        regulations (or other law) have created, or contributed to, the 
        problem that a new regulation is intended to correct and 
        whether those regulations (or other law) should be modified to 
        achieve the intended goal of regulation more effectively.
            ``(3) Each agency shall identify and assess available 
        alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic 
        incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees 
        or marketable permits, or providing information upon which 
        choices can be made by the public.
            ``(4) If an agency determines that a regulation is the best 
        available method of achieving the regulatory objective, it 
        shall design its regulations in the most cost-effective manner 
        to achieve the regulatory objective. In doing so, each agency 
        shall consider incentives for innovation, consistency, 
        predictability, the costs of enforcement and compliance (to the 
        government, regulated entities, and the public), flexibility, 
        distributive impacts, and equity.
            ``(5) Each agency shall assess both the costs and the 
        benefits of the intended regulation and, recognizing that some 
        costs and benefits are difficult to quantify, propose or adopt 
        a regulation, unless expressly prohibited by law, only upon a 
        reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended 
        regulation justify its costs.
            ``(6) Each agency shall base its decisions on the best 
        reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and 
        other information concerning the need for, and consequences of, 
        the intended regulation.
            ``(7) Each agency shall identify and assess alternative 
        forms of regulation and shall, to the extent feasible, specify 
        performance objectives, rather than specifying the behavior or 
        manner of compliance that regulated entities must adopt.
            ``(8) Each agency shall avoid regulations that are 
        inconsistent, incompatible, or duplicative with its other 
        regulations or those of other Federal agencies.
            ``(9) Each agency shall tailor its regulations to minimize 
        the costs of the cumulative impact of regulations.
            ``(10) Each agency shall draft its regulations to be simple 
        and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing the 
        potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such 
        uncertainty.
    ``(b) Regulatory Action Defined.--In this section, the term 
`regulatory action' means any substantive action by an agency (normally 
published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to 
lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including 
advance notices of proposed rulemaking and notices of proposed 
rulemaking.''.

SEC. 409. EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF STATEMENTS TO ACCOMPANY SIGNIFICANT 
              REGULATORY ACTIONS.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (a) of section 202 of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532) is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(a) In General.--Unless otherwise expressly prohibited by law, 
before promulgating any general notice of proposed rulemaking or any 
final rule, or within six months after promulgating any final rule that 
was not preceded by a general notice of proposed rulemaking, if the 
proposed rulemaking or final rule includes a Federal mandate that may 
result in an annual effect on State, local, or tribal governments, or 
to the private sector, in the aggregate of $50,000,000 or more in any 1 
year, the agency shall prepare a written statement containing the 
following:
            ``(1) The text of the draft proposed rulemaking or final 
        rule, together with a reasonably detailed description of the 
        need for the proposed rulemaking or final rule and an 
        explanation of how the proposed rulemaking or final rule will 
        meet that need.
            ``(2) An assessment of the potential costs and benefits of 
        the proposed rulemaking or final rule, including an explanation 
        of the manner in which the proposed rulemaking or final rule is 
        consistent with a statutory requirement and avoids undue 
        interference with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
        exercise of their governmental functions.
            ``(3) A qualitative and quantitative assessment, including 
        the underlying analysis, of benefits anticipated from the 
        proposed rulemaking or final rule (such as the promotion of the 
        efficient functioning of the economy and private markets, the 
        enhancement of health and safety, the protection of the natural 
        environment, and the elimination or reduction of discrimination 
        or bias).
            ``(4) A qualitative and quantitative assessment, including 
        the underlying analysis, of costs anticipated from the proposed 
        rulemaking or final rule (such as the direct costs both to the 
        Government in administering the final rule and to businesses 
        and others in complying with the final rule, and any adverse 
        effects on the efficient functioning of the economy, private 
        markets (including productivity, employment, and international 
        competitiveness), health, safety, and the natural environment);
            ``(5) Estimates by the agency, if and to the extent that 
        the agency determines that accurate estimates are reasonably 
        feasible, of--
                    ``(A) the future compliance costs of the Federal 
                mandate; and
                    ``(B) any disproportionate budgetary effects of the 
                Federal mandate upon any particular regions of the 
                nation or particular State, local, or tribal 
                governments, urban or rural or other types of 
                communities, or particular segments of the private 
                sector.
            ``(6)(A) A detailed description of the extent of the 
        agency's prior consultation with the private sector and elected 
        representatives (under section 204) of the affected State, 
        local, and tribal governments.
            ``(B) A detailed summary of the comments and concerns that 
        were presented by the private sector and State, local, or 
        tribal governments either orally or in writing to the agency.
            ``(C) A detailed summary of the agency's evaluation of 
        those comments and concerns.
            ``(7) A detailed summary of how the agency complied with 
        each of the regulatory principles described in section 201.''.
    (b) Requirement for Detailed Summary.--Subsection (b) of section 
202 of such Act is amended by inserting ``detailed'' before 
``summary''.

SEC. 410. ENHANCED STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION.

    Section 204 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 
1534) is amended--
            (1) in the section heading, by inserting ``and private 
        sector'' before ``input'';
            (2) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by inserting ``, and impacted parties within 
                the private sector (including small business),'' after 
                ``on their behalf)'';
                    (B) by striking ``Federal intergovernmental 
                mandates'' and inserting ``Federal mandates''; and
            (3) by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
    ``(c) Guidelines.--For appropriate implementation of subsections 
(a) and (b) consistent with applicable laws and regulations, the 
following guidelines shall be followed:
            ``(1) Consultations shall take place as early as possible, 
        before issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking, continue 
        through the final rule stage, and be integrated explicitly into 
        the rulemaking process.
            ``(2) Agencies shall consult with a wide variety of State, 
        local, and tribal officials and impacted parties within the 
        private sector (including small businesses). Geographic, 
        political, and other factors that may differentiate varying 
        points of view should be considered.
            ``(3) Agencies should estimate benefits and costs to assist 
        with these consultations. The scope of the consultation should 
        reflect the cost and significance of the Federal mandate being 
        considered.
            ``(4) Agencies shall, to the extent practicable--
                    ``(A) seek out the views of State, local, and 
                tribal governments, and impacted parties within the 
                private sector (including small business), on costs, 
                benefits, and risks; and
                    ``(B) solicit ideas about alternative methods of 
                compliance and potential flexibilities, and input on 
                whether the Federal regulation will harmonize with and 
                not duplicate similar laws in other levels of 
                government.
            ``(5) Consultations shall address the cumulative impact of 
        regulations on the affected entities.
            ``(6) Agencies may accept electronic submissions of 
        comments by relevant parties but may not use those comments as 
        the sole method of satisfying the guidelines in this 
        subsection.''.

SEC. 411. NEW AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR OFFICE OF 
              INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS.

    Section 208 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 
1538) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 208. OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS 
              RESPONSIBILITIES.

    ``(a) In General.--The Administrator of the Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs shall provide meaningful guidance and oversight 
so that each agency's regulations for which a written statement is 
required under section 202 are consistent with the principles and 
requirements of this title, as well as other applicable laws, and do 
not conflict with the policies or actions of another agency. If the 
Administrator determines that an agency's regulations for which a 
written statement is required under section 202 do not comply with such 
principles and requirements, are not consistent with other applicable 
laws, or conflict with the policies or actions of another agency, the 
Administrator shall identify areas of non-compliance, notify the 
agency, and request that the agency comply before the agency finalizes 
the regulation concerned.
    ``(b) Annual Statements to Congress on Agency Compliance.--The 
Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs annually 
shall submit to Congress, including the Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight 
and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, a written report 
detailing compliance by each agency with the requirements of this title 
that relate to regulations for which a written statement is required by 
section 202, including activities undertaken at the request of the 
Director to improve compliance, during the preceding reporting period. 
The report shall also contain an appendix detailing compliance by each 
agency with section 204.''.

SEC. 412. RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF EXISTING FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4; 2 
U.S.C. 1511 et seq.) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating section 209 as section 210; and
            (2) by inserting after section 208 the following new 
        section 209:

``SEC. 209. RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF EXISTING FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

    ``(a) Requirement.--At the request of the chairman or ranking 
minority member of a standing or select committee of the House of 
Representatives or the Senate, an agency shall conduct a retrospective 
analysis of an existing Federal regulation promulgated by an agency.
    ``(b) Report.--Each agency conducting a retrospective analysis of 
existing Federal regulations pursuant to subsection (a) shall submit to 
the chairman of the relevant committee, Congress, and the Comptroller 
General a report containing, with respect to each Federal regulation 
covered by the analysis--
            ``(1) a copy of the Federal regulation;
            ``(2) the continued need for the Federal regulation;
            ``(3) the nature of comments or complaints received 
        concerning the Federal regulation from the public since the 
        Federal regulation was promulgated;
            ``(4) the extent to which the Federal regulation overlaps, 
        duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal regulations, and, 
        to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental 
        rules;
            ``(5) the degree to which technology, economic conditions, 
        or other factors have changed in the area affected by the 
        Federal regulation;
            ``(6) a complete analysis of the retrospective direct costs 
        and benefits of the Federal regulation that considers studies 
        done outside the Federal Government (if any) estimating such 
        costs or benefits; and
            ``(7) any litigation history challenging the Federal 
        regulation.''.

SEC. 413. EXPANSION OF JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    Section 401(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 
U.S.C. 1571(a)) is amended--
            (1) in paragraphs (1) and (2)(A)--
                    (A) by striking ``sections 202 and 203(a)(1) and 
                (2)'' each place it appears and inserting ``sections 
                201, 202, 203(a)(1) and (2), and 205(a) and (b)''; and
                    (B) by striking ``only'' each place it appears;
            (2) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking ``section 202'' and 
        all that follows through the period at the end and inserting 
        the following: ``section 202, prepare the written plan under 
        section 203(a)(1) and (2), or comply with section 205(a) and 
        (b), a court may compel the agency to prepare such written 
        statement, prepare such written plan, or comply with such 
        section.''; and
            (3) in paragraph (3), by striking ``written statement or 
        plan is required'' and all that follows through ``shall not'' 
        and inserting the following: ``written statement under section 
        202, a written plan under section 203(a)(1) and (2), or 
        compliance with sections 201 and 205(a) and (b) is required, 
        the inadequacy or failure to prepare such statement (including 
        the inadequacy or failure to prepare any estimate, analysis, 
        statement, or description), to prepare such written plan, or to 
        comply with such section may''.

   TITLE V--IMPROVED COORDINATION OF AGENCY ACTIONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL 
                               DOCUMENTS

SEC. 501. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Responsibly And Professionally 
Invigorating Development Act of 2012'' or as the ``RAPID Act''.

SEC. 502. COORDINATION OF AGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS FOR 
              EFFICIENT DECISIONMAKING.

    (a) In General.--Part I of chapter 5 of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by inserting after subchapter II the following:

    ``SUBCHAPTER IIA--INTERAGENCY COORDINATION REGARDING PERMITTING

``Sec. 560. Coordination of agency administrative operations for 
              efficient decisionmaking
    ``(a) Congressional Declaration of Purpose.--The purpose of this 
subchapter is to establish a framework and procedures to streamline, 
increase the efficiency of, and enhance coordination of agency 
administration of the regulatory review, environmental decisionmaking, 
and permitting process for projects undertaken, reviewed, or funded by 
Federal agencies. This subchapter will ensure that agencies administer 
the regulatory process in a manner that is efficient so that citizens 
are not burdened with regulatory excuses and time delays.
    ``(b) Definitions.--For purposes of this subchapter, the term--
            ``(1) `agency' means any agency, department, or other unit 
        of Federal, State, local, or Indian tribal government;
            ``(2) `category of projects' means 2 or more projects 
        related by project type, potential environmental impacts, 
        geographic location, or another similar project feature or 
        characteristic;
            ``(3) `environmental assessment' means a concise public 
        document for which a Federal agency is responsible that serves 
        to--
                    ``(A) briefly provide sufficient evidence and 
                analysis for determining whether to prepare an 
                environmental impact statement or a finding of no 
                significant impact;
                    ``(B) aid an agency's compliance with NEPA when no 
                environmental impact statement is necessary; and
                    ``(C) facilitate preparation of an environmental 
                impact statement when one is necessary;
            ``(4) `environmental impact statement' means the detailed 
        statement of significant environmental impacts required to be 
        prepared under NEPA;
            ``(5) `environmental review' means the Federal agency 
        procedures for preparing an environmental impact statement, 
        environmental assessment, categorical exclusion, or other 
        document under NEPA;
            ``(6) `environmental decisionmaking process' means the 
        Federal agency procedures for undertaking and completion of any 
        environmental permit, decision, approval, review, or study 
        under any Federal law other than NEPA for a project subject to 
        an environmental review;
            ``(7) `environmental document' means an environmental 
        assessment or environmental impact statement, and includes any 
        supplemental document or document prepared pursuant to a court 
        order;
            ``(8) `finding of no significant impact' means a document 
        by a Federal agency briefly presenting the reasons why a 
        project, not otherwise subject to a categorical exclusion, will 
        not have a significant effect on the human environment and for 
        which an environmental impact statement therefore will not be 
        prepared;
            ``(9) `lead agency' means the Federal agency preparing or 
        responsible for preparing the environmental document;
            ``(10) `NEPA' means the National Environmental Policy Act 
        of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
            ``(11) `project' means major Federal actions that are 
        construction activities undertaken with Federal funds or that 
        are construction activities that require approval by a permit 
        or regulatory decision issued by a Federal agency;
            ``(12) `project sponsor' means the agency or other entity, 
        including any private or public-private entity, that seeks 
        approval for a project or is otherwise responsible for 
        undertaking a project; and
            ``(13) `record of decision' means a document prepared by a 
        lead agency under NEPA following an environmental impact 
        statement that states the lead agency's decision, identifies 
        the alternatives considered by the agency in reaching its 
        decision and states whether all practicable means to avoid or 
        minimize environmental harm from the alternative selected have 
        been adopted, and if not, why they were not adopted.
    ``(c) Preparation of Environmental Documents.--Upon the request of 
the lead agency, the project sponsor shall be authorized to prepare any 
document for purposes of an environmental review required in support of 
any project or approval by the lead agency if the lead agency furnishes 
oversight in such preparation and independently evaluates such document 
and the document is approved and adopted by the lead agency prior to 
taking any action or making any approval based on such document.
    ``(d) Adoption and Use of Documents.--
            ``(1) Documents prepared under nepa.--
                    ``(A) Not more than 1 environmental impact 
                statement and 1 environmental assessment shall be 
                prepared under NEPA for a project (except for 
                supplemental environmental documents prepared under 
                NEPA or environmental documents prepared pursuant to a 
                court order), and, except as otherwise provided by law, 
                the lead agency shall prepare the environmental impact 
                statement or environmental assessment. After the lead 
                agency issues a record of decision, no Federal agency 
                responsible for making any approval for that project 
                may rely on a document other than the environmental 
                document prepared by the lead agency.
                    ``(B) Upon the request of a project sponsor, a lead 
                agency may adopt, use, or rely upon secondary and 
                cumulative impact analyses included in any 
                environmental document prepared under NEPA for projects 
                in the same geographic area where the secondary and 
                cumulative impact analyses provide information and data 
                that pertains to the NEPA decision for the project 
                under review.
            ``(2) State environmental documents; supplemental 
        documents.--
                    ``(A) Upon the request of a project sponsor, a lead 
                agency may adopt a document that has been prepared for 
                a project under State laws and procedures as the 
                environmental impact statement or environmental 
                assessment for the project, provided that the State 
                laws and procedures under which the document was 
                prepared provide environmental protection and 
                opportunities for public involvement that are 
                substantially equivalent to NEPA.
                    ``(B) An environmental document adopted under 
                subparagraph (A) is deemed to satisfy the lead agency's 
                obligation under NEPA to prepare an environmental 
                impact statement or environmental assessment.
                    ``(C) In the case of a document described in 
                subparagraph (A), during the period after preparation 
                of the document but before its adoption by the lead 
                agency, the lead agency shall prepare and publish a 
                supplement to that document if the lead agency 
                determines that--
                            ``(i) a significant change has been made to 
                        the project that is relevant for purposes of 
                        environmental review of the project; or
                            ``(ii) there have been significant changes 
                        in circumstances or availability of information 
                        relevant to the environmental review for the 
                        project.
                    ``(D) If the agency prepares and publishes a 
                supplemental document under subparagraph (C), the lead 
                agency may solicit comments from agencies and the 
                public on the supplemental document for a period of not 
                more than 45 days beginning on the date of the 
                publication of the supplement.
                    ``(E) A lead agency shall issue its record of 
                decision or finding of no significant impact, as 
                appropriate, based upon the document adopted under 
                subparagraph (A), and any supplements thereto.
            ``(3) Contemporaneous projects.--If the lead agency 
        determines that there is a reasonable likelihood that the 
        project will have similar environmental impacts as a similar 
        project in geographical proximity to the project, and that 
        similar project was subject to environmental review or similar 
        State procedures within the 5 year period immediately preceding 
        the date that the lead agency makes that determination, the 
        lead agency may adopt the environmental document that resulted 
        from that environmental review or similar State procedure. The 
        lead agency may adopt such an environmental document, if it is 
        prepared under State laws and procedures only upon making a 
        favorable determination on such environmental document pursuant 
        to paragraph (2)(A).
    ``(e) Participating Agencies.--
            ``(1) In general.--The lead agency shall be responsible for 
        inviting and designating participating agencies in accordance 
        with this subsection. The lead agency shall provide the 
        invitation or notice of the designation in writing.
            ``(2) Federal participating agencies.--Any Federal agency 
        that is required to adopt the environmental document of the 
        lead agency for a project shall be designated as a 
        participating agency and shall collaborate on the preparation 
        of the environmental document, unless the Federal agency 
        informs the lead agency, in writing, by a time specified by the 
        lead agency in the designation of the Federal agency that the 
        Federal agency--
                    ``(A) has no jurisdiction or authority with respect 
                to the project;
                    ``(B) has no expertise or information relevant to 
                the project; and
                    ``(C) does not intend to submit comments on the 
                project.
            ``(3) Invitation.--The lead agency shall identify, as early 
        as practicable in the environmental review for a project, any 
        agencies other than an agency described in paragraph (2) that 
        may have an interest in the project, including, where 
        appropriate, Governors of affected States, and heads of 
        appropriate tribal and local (including county) governments, 
        and shall invite such identified agencies and officials to 
        become participating agencies in the environmental review for 
        the project. The invitation shall set a deadline of 30 days for 
        responses to be submitted, which may only be extended by the 
        lead agency for good cause shown. Any agency that fails to 
        respond prior to the deadline shall be deemed to have declined 
        the invitation.
            ``(4) Effect of declining participating agency 
        invitation.--Any agency that declines a designation or 
        invitation by the lead agency to be a participating agency 
        shall be precluded from submitting comments on any document 
        prepared under NEPA for that project or taking any measures to 
        oppose, based on the environmental review, any permit, license, 
        or approval related to that project.
            ``(5) Effect of designation.--Designation as a 
        participating agency under this subsection does not imply that 
        the participating agency--
                    ``(A) supports a proposed project; or
                    ``(B) has any jurisdiction over, or special 
                expertise with respect to evaluation of, the project.
            ``(6) Cooperating agency.--A participating agency may also 
        be designated by a lead agency as a `cooperating agency' under 
        the regulations contained in part 1500 of title 40, Code of 
        Federal Regulations, as in effect on January 1, 2011. 
        Designation as a cooperating agency shall have no effect on 
        designation as participating agency. No agency that is not a 
        participating agency may be designated as a cooperating agency.
            ``(7) Concurrent reviews.--Each Federal agency shall--
                    ``(A) carry out obligations of the Federal agency 
                under other applicable law concurrently and in 
                conjunction with the review required under NEPA; and
                    ``(B) in accordance with the rules made by the 
                Council on Environmental Quality pursuant to subsection 
                (n)(1), make and carry out such rules, policies, and 
                procedures as may be reasonably necessary to enable the 
                agency to ensure completion of the environmental review 
                and environmental decisionmaking process in a timely, 
                coordinated, and environmentally responsible manner.
            ``(8) Comments.--Each participating agency shall limit its 
        comments on a project to areas that are within the authority 
        and expertise of such participating agency. Each participating 
        agency shall identify in such comments the statutory authority 
        of the participating agency pertaining to the subject matter of 
        its comments. The lead agency shall not act upon, respond to or 
        include in any document prepared under NEPA, any comment 
        submitted by a participating agency that concerns matters that 
        are outside of the authority and expertise of the commenting 
        participating agency.
    ``(f) Project Initiation Request.--
            ``(1) Notice.--A project sponsor shall provide the Federal 
        agency responsible for undertaking a project with notice of the 
        initiation of the project by providing a description of the 
        proposed project, the general location of the proposed project, 
        and a statement of any Federal approvals anticipated to be 
        necessary for the proposed project, for the purpose of 
        informing the Federal agency that the environmental review 
        should be initiated.
            ``(2) Lead agency initiation.--The agency receiving a 
        project initiation notice under paragraph (1) shall promptly 
        identify the lead agency for the project, and the lead agency 
        shall initiate the environmental review within a period of 45 
        days after receiving the notice required by paragraph (1) by 
        inviting or designating agencies to become participating 
        agencies, or, where the lead agency determines that no 
        participating agencies are required for the project, by taking 
        such other actions that are reasonable and necessary to 
        initiate the environmental review.
    ``(g) Alternatives Analysis.--
            ``(1) Participation.--As early as practicable during the 
        environmental review, but no later than during scoping for a 
        project requiring the preparation of an environmental impact 
        statement, the lead agency shall provide an opportunity for 
        involvement by cooperating agencies in determining the range of 
        alternatives to be considered for a project.
            ``(2) Range of alternatives.--Following participation under 
        paragraph (1), the lead agency shall determine the range of 
        alternatives for consideration in any document which the lead 
        agency is responsible for preparing for the project, subject to 
        the following limitations:
                    ``(A) No evaluation of certain alternatives.--No 
                Federal agency shall evaluate any alternative that was 
                identified but not carried forward for detailed 
                evaluation in an environmental document or evaluated 
                and not selected in any environmental document prepared 
                under NEPA for the same project.
                    ``(B) Only feasible alternatives evaluated.--Where 
                a project is being constructed, managed, funded, or 
                undertaken by a project sponsor that is not a Federal 
                agency, Federal agencies shall only be required to 
                evaluate alternatives that the project sponsor could 
                feasibly undertake, consistent with the purpose of and 
                the need for the project, including alternatives that 
                can be undertaken by the project sponsor and that are 
                technically and economically feasible.
            ``(3) Methodologies.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The lead agency shall determine, 
                in collaboration with cooperating agencies at 
                appropriate times during the environmental review, the 
                methodologies to be used and the level of detail 
                required in the analysis of each alternative for a 
                project. The lead agency shall include in the 
                environmental document a description of the 
                methodologies used and how the methodologies were 
                selected.
                    ``(B) No evaluation of inappropriate 
                alternatives.--When a lead agency determines that an 
                alternative does not meet the purpose and need for a 
                project, that alternative is not required to be 
                evaluated in detail in an environmental document.
            ``(4) Preferred alternative.--At the discretion of the lead 
        agency, the preferred alternative for a project, after being 
        identified, may be developed to a higher level of detail than 
        other alternatives in order to facilitate the development of 
        mitigation measures or concurrent compliance with other 
        applicable laws if the lead agency determines that the 
        development of such higher level of detail will not prevent the 
        lead agency from making an impartial decision as to whether to 
        accept another alternative which is being considered in the 
        environmental review.
            ``(5) Employment analysis.--The evaluation of each 
        alternative in an environmental impact statement or an 
        environmental assessment shall identify the potential effects 
        of the alternative on employment, including potential short-
        term and long-term employment increases and reductions and 
        shifts in employment.
    ``(h) Coordination and Scheduling.--
            ``(1) Coordination plan.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The lead agency shall establish 
                and implement a plan for coordinating public and agency 
                participation in and comment on the environmental 
                review for a project or category of projects to 
                facilitate the expeditious resolution of the 
                environmental review.
                    ``(B) Schedule.--
                            ``(i) In general.--The lead agency shall 
                        establish as part of the coordination plan for 
                        a project, after consultation with each 
                        participating agency and, where applicable, the 
                        project sponsor, a schedule for completion of 
                        the environmental review. The schedule shall 
                        include deadlines, consistent with subsection 
                        (i), for decisions under any other Federal laws 
                        (including the issuance or denial of a permit 
                        or license) relating to the project that is 
                        covered by the schedule.
                            ``(ii) Factors for consideration.--In 
                        establishing the schedule, the lead agency 
                        shall consider factors such as--
                                    ``(I) the responsibilities of 
                                participating agencies under applicable 
                                laws;
                                    ``(II) resources available to the 
                                participating agencies;
                                    ``(III) overall size and complexity 
                                of the project;
                                    ``(IV) overall schedule for and 
                                cost of the project;
                                    ``(V) the sensitivity of the 
                                natural and historic resources that 
                                could be affected by the project; and
                                    ``(VI) the extent to which similar 
                                projects in geographic proximity were 
                                recently subject to environmental 
                                review or similar State procedures.
                            ``(iii) Compliance with the schedule.--
                                    ``(I) All participating agencies 
                                shall comply with the time periods 
                                established in the schedule or with any 
                                modified time periods, where the lead 
                                agency modifies the schedule pursuant 
                                to subparagraph (D).
                                    ``(II) The lead agency shall 
                                disregard and shall not respond to or 
                                include in any document prepared under 
                                NEPA, any comment or information 
                                submitted or any finding made by a 
                                participating agency that is outside of 
                                the time period established in the 
                                schedule or modification pursuant to 
                                subparagraph (D) for that agency's 
                                comment, submission or finding.
                                    ``(III) If a participating agency 
                                fails to object in writing to a lead 
                                agency decision, finding or request for 
                                concurrence within the time period 
                                established under law or by the lead 
                                agency, the agency shall be deemed to 
                                have concurred in the decision, finding 
                                or request.
                    ``(C) Consistency with other time periods.--A 
                schedule under subparagraph (B) shall be consistent 
                with any other relevant time periods established under 
                Federal law.
                    ``(D) Modification.--The lead agency may--
                            ``(i) lengthen a schedule established under 
                        subparagraph (B) for good cause; and
                            ``(ii) shorten a schedule only with the 
                        concurrence of the cooperating agencies.
                    ``(E) Dissemination.--A copy of a schedule under 
                subparagraph (B), and of any modifications to the 
                schedule, shall be--
                            ``(i) provided within 15 days of completion 
                        or modification of such schedule to all 
                        participating agencies and to the project 
                        sponsor; and
                            ``(ii) made available to the public.
                    ``(F) Roles and responsibility of lead agency.--
                With respect to the environmental review for any 
                project, the lead agency shall have authority and 
                responsibility to take such actions as are necessary 
                and proper, within the authority of the lead agency, to 
                facilitate the expeditious resolution of the 
                environmental review for the project.
    ``(i) Deadlines.--The following deadlines shall apply to any 
project subject to review under NEPA and any decision under any Federal 
law relating to such project (including the issuance or denial of a 
permit or license or any required finding):
            ``(1) Environmental review deadlines.--The lead agency 
        shall complete the environmental review within the following 
        deadlines:
                    ``(A) Environmental impact statement projects.--For 
                projects requiring preparation of an environmental 
                impact statement--
                            ``(i) the lead agency shall issue an 
                        environmental impact statement within 2 years 
                        after the earlier of the date the lead agency 
                        receives the project initiation request or a 
                        Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental 
                        Impact Statement is published in the Federal 
                        Register; and
                            ``(ii) in circumstances where the lead 
                        agency has prepared an environmental assessment 
                        and determined that an environmental impact 
                        statement will be required, the lead agency 
                        shall issue the environmental impact statement 
                        within 2 years after the date of publication of 
                        the Notice of Intent to Prepare an 
                        Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal 
                        Register.
                    ``(B) Environmental assessment projects.--For 
                projects requiring preparation of an environmental 
                assessment, the lead agency shall issue a finding of no 
                significant impact or publish a Notice of Intent to 
                Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in the 
                Federal Register within 1 year after the earlier of the 
                date the lead agency receives the project initiation 
                request, makes a decision to prepare an environmental 
                assessment, or sends out participating agency 
                invitations.
            ``(2) Extensions.--
                    ``(A) Requirements.--The environmental review 
                deadlines may be extended only if--
                            ``(i) a different deadline is established 
                        by agreement of the lead agency, the project 
                        sponsor, and all participating agencies; or
                            ``(ii) the deadline is extended by the lead 
                        agency for good cause.
                    ``(B) Limitation.--The environmental review shall 
                not be extended by more than 1 year for a project 
                requiring preparation of an environmental impact 
                statement or by more than 180 days for a project 
                requiring preparation of an environmental assessment.
            ``(3) Environmental review comments.--
                    ``(A) Comments on draft environmental impact 
                statement.--For comments by agencies and the public on 
                a draft environmental impact statement, the lead agency 
                shall establish a comment period of not more than 60 
                days after publication in the Federal Register of 
                notice of the date of public availability of such 
                document, unless--
                            ``(i) a different deadline is established 
                        by agreement of the lead agency, the project 
                        sponsor, and all participating agencies; or
                            ``(ii) the deadline is extended by the lead 
                        agency for good cause.
                    ``(B) Other comments.--For all other comment 
                periods for agency or public comments in the 
                environmental review process, the lead agency shall 
                establish a comment period of no more than 30 days from 
                availability of the materials on which comment is 
                requested, unless--
                            ``(i) a different deadline is established 
                        by agreement of the lead agency, the project 
                        sponsor, and all participating agencies; or
                            ``(ii) the deadline is extended by the lead 
                        agency for good cause.
            ``(4) Deadlines for decisions under other laws.--
        Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any case in 
        which a decision under any other Federal law relating to the 
        undertaking of a project being reviewed under NEPA (including 
        the issuance or denial of a permit or license) is required to 
        be made, the following deadlines shall apply:
                    ``(A) Decisions prior to record of decision or 
                finding of no significant impact.--If a Federal agency 
                is required to approve, or otherwise to act upon, a 
                permit, license, or other similar application for 
                approval related to a project prior to the record of 
                decision or finding of no significant impact, such 
                Federal agency shall approve or otherwise act not later 
                than the end of a 90 day period beginning--
                            ``(i) after all other relevant agency 
                        review related to the project is complete; and
                            ``(ii) after the lead agency publishes a 
                        notice of the availability of the final 
                        environmental impact statement or issuance of 
                        other final environmental documents, or no 
                        later than such other date that is otherwise 
                        required by law, whichever event occurs first.
                    ``(B) Other decisions.--With regard to any approval 
                or other action related to a project by a Federal 
                agency that is not subject to subparagraph (A), each 
                Federal agency shall approve or otherwise act not later 
                than the end of a period of 180 days beginning--
                            ``(i) after all other relevant agency 
                        review related to the project is complete; and
                            ``(ii) after the lead agency issues the 
                        record of decision or finding of no significant 
                        impact, unless a different deadline is 
                        established by agreement of the Federal agency, 
                        lead agency, and the project sponsor, where 
                        applicable, or the deadline is extended by the 
                        Federal agency for good cause, provided that 
                        such extension shall not extend beyond a period 
                        that is 1 year after the lead agency issues the 
                        record of decision or finding of no significant 
                        impact.
                    ``(C) Failure to act.--In the event that any 
                Federal agency fails to approve, or otherwise to act 
                upon, a permit, license, or other similar application 
                for approval related to a project within the applicable 
                deadline described in subparagraph (A) or (B), the 
                permit, license, or other similar application shall be 
                deemed approved by such agency and the agency shall 
                take action in accordance with such approval within 30 
                days of the applicable deadline described in 
                subparagraph (A) or (B).
                    ``(D) Final agency action.--Any approval under 
                subparagraph (C) is deemed to be final agency action, 
                and may not be reversed by any agency. In any action 
                under chapter 7 seeking review of such a final agency 
                action, the court may not set aside such agency action 
                by reason of that agency action having occurred under 
                this paragraph.
    ``(j) Issue Identification and Resolution.--
            ``(1) Cooperation.--The lead agency and the participating 
        agencies shall work cooperatively in accordance with this 
        section to identify and resolve issues that could delay 
        completion of the environmental review or could result in 
        denial of any approvals required for the project under 
        applicable laws.
            ``(2) Lead agency responsibilities.--The lead agency shall 
        make information available to the participating agencies as 
        early as practicable in the environmental review regarding the 
        environmental, historic, and socioeconomic resources located 
        within the project area and the general locations of the 
        alternatives under consideration. Such information may be based 
        on existing data sources, including geographic information 
        systems mapping.
            ``(3) Participating agency responsibilities.--Based on 
        information received from the lead agency, participating 
        agencies shall identify, as early as practicable, any issues of 
        concern regarding the project's potential environmental, 
        historic, or socioeconomic impacts. In this paragraph, issues 
        of concern include any issues that could substantially delay or 
        prevent an agency from granting a permit or other approval that 
        is needed for the project.
            ``(4) Issue resolution.--
                    ``(A) Meeting of participating agencies.--At any 
                time upon request of a project sponsor, the lead agency 
                shall promptly convene a meeting with the relevant 
                participating agencies and the project sponsor, to 
                resolve issues that could delay completion of the 
                environmental review or could result in denial of any 
                approvals required for the project under applicable 
                laws.
                    ``(B) Notice that resolution cannot be achieved.--
                If a resolution cannot be achieved within 30 days 
                following such a meeting and a determination by the 
                lead agency that all information necessary to resolve 
                the issue has been obtained, the lead agency shall 
                notify the heads of all participating agencies, the 
                project sponsor, and the Council on Environmental 
                Quality for further proceedings in accordance with 
                section 204 of NEPA, and shall publish such 
                notification in the Federal Register.
    ``(k) Report to Congress.--The head of each Federal agency shall 
report annually to Congress--
            ``(1) the projects for which the agency initiated 
        preparation of an environmental impact statement or 
        environmental assessment;
            ``(2) the projects for which the agency issued a record of 
        decision or finding of no significant impact and the length of 
        time it took the agency to complete the environmental review 
        for each such project;
            ``(3) the filing of any lawsuits against the agency seeking 
        judicial review of a permit, license, or approval issued by the 
        agency for an action subject to NEPA, including the date the 
        complaint was filed, the court in which the complaint was 
        filed, and a summary of the claims for which judicial review 
        was sought; and
            ``(4) the resolution of any lawsuits against the agency 
        that sought judicial review of a permit, license, or approval 
        issued by the agency for an action subject to NEPA.
    ``(l) Limitations on Claims.--
            ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
        law, a claim arising under Federal law seeking judicial review 
        of a permit, license, or approval issued by a Federal agency 
        for an action subject to NEPA shall be barred unless--
                    ``(A) in the case of a claim pertaining to a 
                project for which an environmental review was conducted 
                and an opportunity for comment was provided, the claim 
                is filed by a party that submitted a comment during the 
                environmental review on the issue on which the party 
                seeks judicial review, and such comment was 
                sufficiently detailed to put the lead agency on notice 
                of the issue upon which the party seeks judicial 
                review; and
                    ``(B) filed within 180 days after publication of a 
                notice in the Federal Register announcing that the 
                permit, license, or approval is final pursuant to the 
                law under which the agency action is taken, unless a 
                shorter time is specified in the Federal law pursuant 
                to which judicial review is allowed.
            ``(2) New information.--The preparation of a supplemental 
        environmental impact statement, when required, is deemed a 
        separate final agency action and the deadline for filing a 
        claim for judicial review of such action shall be 180 days 
        after the date of publication of a notice in the Federal 
        Register announcing the record of decision for such action. Any 
        claim challenging agency action on the basis of information in 
        a supplemental environmental impact statement shall be limited 
        to challenges on the basis of that information.
            ``(3) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection 
        shall be construed to create a right to judicial review or 
        place any limit on filing a claim that a person has violated 
        the terms of a permit, license, or approval.
    ``(m) Categories of Projects.--The authorities granted under this 
subchapter may be exercised for an individual project or a category of 
projects.
    ``(n) Effective Date.--The requirements of this subchapter shall 
apply only to environmental reviews and environmental decisionmaking 
processes initiated after the date of enactment of this subchapter.
    ``(o) Applicability.--Except as provided in subsection (p), this 
subchapter applies, according to the provisions thereof, to all 
projects for which a Federal agency is required to undertake an 
environmental review or make a decision under an environmental law for 
a project for which a Federal agency is undertaking an environmental 
review.
    ``(p) Savings Clause.--Nothing in this section shall be construed 
to supersede, amend, or modify sections 134, 135, 139, 325, 326, and 
327 of title 23, United States Code, sections 5303 and 5304 of title 
49, United States Code, or subtitle C of title I of division A of the 
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and the amendments 
made by such subtitle (Public Law 112-141).''.
    (b) Technical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 5 of 
title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item 
relating to subchapter II the following:

``SUBCHAPTER IIA--INTERAGENCY COORDINATION REGARDING PERMITTING
``560. Coordination of agency administrative operations for efficient 
                            decisionmaking.''.
    (c) Regulations.--
            (1) Council on environmental quality.--Not later than 180 
        days after the date of enactment of this title, the Council on 
        Environmental Quality shall amend the regulations contained in 
        part 1500 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, to 
        implement the provisions of this title and the amendments made 
        by this title, and shall by rule designate States with laws and 
        procedures that satisfy the criteria under section 560(d)(2)(A) 
        of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) Federal agencies.--Not later than 120 days after the 
        date that the Council on Environmental Quality amends the 
        regulations contained in part 1500 of title 40, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, to implement the provisions of this title and the 
        amendments made by this title, each Federal agency with 
        regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act 
        of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall amend such regulations 
        to implement the provisions of this subchapter.

 TITLE VI--SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION REGULATORY ACCOUNTABILITY

SEC. 601. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``SEC Regulatory Accountability 
Act''.

SEC. 602. CONSIDERATION BY THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION OF 
              THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ITS REGULATIONS AND CERTAIN 
              OTHER AGENCY ACTIONS.

    Section 23 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78w) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e) Consideration of Costs and Benefits.--
            ``(1) In general.--Before issuing a regulation under the 
        securities laws, as defined in section 3(a), the Commission 
        shall--
                    ``(A) clearly identify the nature and source of the 
                problem that the proposed regulation is designed to 
                address, as well as assess the significance of that 
                problem, to enable assessment of whether any new 
                regulation is warranted;
                    ``(B) utilize the Chief Economist to assess the 
                costs and benefits, both qualitative and quantitative, 
                of the intended regulation and propose or adopt a 
                regulation only on a reasoned determination that the 
                benefits of the intended regulation justify the costs 
                of the regulation;
                    ``(C) identify and assess available alternatives to 
                the regulation that were considered, including 
                modification of an existing regulation, together with 
                an explanation of why the regulation meets the 
                regulatory objectives more effectively than the 
                alternatives; and
                    ``(D) ensure that any regulation is accessible, 
                consistent, written in plain language, and easy to 
                understand and shall measure, and seek to improve, the 
                actual results of regulatory requirements.
            ``(2) Considerations and actions.--
                    ``(A) Required actions.--In deciding whether and 
                how to regulate, the Commission shall assess the costs 
                and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, 
                including the alternative of not regulating, and choose 
                the approach that maximizes net benefits. Specifically, 
                the Commission shall--
                            ``(i) consistent with the requirements of 
                        section 3(f) (15 U.S.C. 78c(f)), section 2(b) 
                        of the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 
                        77b(b)), section 202(c) of the Investment 
                        Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-2(c)), and 
                        section 2(c) of the Investment Company Act of 
                        1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-2(c)), consider whether the 
                        rulemaking will promote efficiency, 
                        competition, and capital formation;
                            ``(ii) evaluate whether, consistent with 
                        obtaining regulatory objectives, the regulation 
                        is tailored to impose the least burden on 
                        society, including market participants, 
                        individuals, businesses of differing sizes, and 
                        other entities (including State and local 
                        governmental entities), taking into account, to 
                        the extent practicable, the cumulative costs of 
                        regulations; and
                            ``(iii) evaluate whether the regulation is 
                        inconsistent, incompatible, or duplicative of 
                        other Federal regulations.
                    ``(B) Additional considerations.--In addition, in 
                making a reasoned determination of the costs and 
                benefits of a potential regulation, the Commission 
                shall, to the extent that each is relevant to the 
                particular proposed regulation, take into consideration 
                the impact of the regulation on--
                            ``(i) investor choice;
                            ``(ii) market liquidity in the securities 
                        markets; and
                            ``(iii) small businesses
            ``(3) Explanation and comments.--The Commission shall 
        explain in its final rule the nature of comments that it 
        received, including those from the industry or consumer groups 
        concerning the potential costs or benefits of the proposed rule 
        or proposed rule change, and shall provide a response to those 
        comments in its final rule, including an explanation of any 
        changes that were made in response to those comments and the 
        reasons that the Commission did not incorporate those industry 
        group concerns related to the potential costs or benefits in 
        the final rule.
            ``(4) Review of existing regulations.--Not later than 1 
        year after the date of enactment of the SEC Regulatory 
        Accountability Act, and every 5 years thereafter, the 
        Commission shall review its regulations to determine whether 
        any such regulations are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, 
        or excessively burdensome, and shall modify, streamline, 
        expand, or repeal them in accordance with such review. In 
        reviewing any regulation (including, notwithstanding paragraph 
        (6), a regulation issued in accordance with formal rulemaking 
        provisions) that subjects issuers with a public float of 
        $250,000,000 or less to the attestation and reporting 
        requirements of section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 
        2002 (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)), the Commission shall specifically 
        take into account the large burden of such regulation when 
        compared to the benefit of such regulation.
            ``(5) Post-adoption impact assessment.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Whenever the Commission adopts 
                or amends a regulation designated as a `major rule' 
                within the meaning of section 804(2) of title 5, United 
                States Code, it shall state, in its adopting release, 
                the following:
                            ``(i) The purposes and intended 
                        consequences of the regulation.
                            ``(ii) Appropriate post-implementation 
                        quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure 
                        the economic impact of the regulation and to 
                        measure the extent to which the regulation has 
                        accomplished the stated purposes.
                            ``(iii) The assessment plan that will be 
                        used, consistent with the requirements of 
                        subparagraph (B) and under the supervision of 
                        the Chief Economist of the Commission, to 
                        assess whether the regulation has achieved the 
                        stated purposes.
                            ``(iv) Any unintended or negative 
                        consequences that the Commission foresees may 
                        result from the regulation.
                    ``(B) Requirements of assessment plan and report.--
                            ``(i) Requirements of plan.--The assessment 
                        plan required under this paragraph shall 
                        consider the costs, benefits, and intended and 
                        unintended consequences of the regulation. The 
                        plan shall specify the data to be collected, 
                        the methods for collection and analysis of the 
                        data and a date for completion of the 
                        assessment.
                            ``(ii) Submission and publication of 
                        report.--The Chief Economist shall submit the 
                        completed assessment report to the Commission 
                        no later than 2 years after the publication of 
                        the adopting release, unless the Commission, at 
                        the request of the Chief Economist, has 
                        published at least 90 days before such date a 
                        notice in the Federal Register extending the 
                        date and providing specific reasons why an 
                        extension is necessary. Within 7 days after 
                        submission to the Commission of the final 
                        assessment report, it shall be published in the 
                        Federal Register for notice and comment. Any 
                        material modification of the plan, as necessary 
                        to assess unforeseen aspects or consequences of 
                        the regulation, shall be promptly published in 
                        the Federal Register for notice and comment.
                            ``(iii) Data collection not subject to 
                        notice and comment requirements.--If the 
                        Commission has published its assessment plan 
                        for notice and comment, specifying the data to 
                        be collected and method of collection, at least 
                        30 days prior to adoption of a final regulation 
                        or amendment, such collection of data shall not 
                        be subject to the notice and comment 
                        requirements in section 3506(c) of title 44, 
                        United States Code (commonly referred to as the 
                        Paperwork Reduction Act). Any material 
                        modifications of the plan that require 
                        collection of data not previously published for 
                        notice and comment shall also be exempt from 
                        such requirements if the Commission has 
                        published notice for comment in the Federal 
                        Register of the additional data to be 
                        collected, at least 30 days prior to initiation 
                        of data collection.
                            ``(iv) Final action.--Not later than 180 
                        days after publication of the assessment report 
                        in the Federal Register, the Commission shall 
                        issue for notice and comment a proposal to 
                        amend or rescind the regulation, or publish a 
                        notice that the Commission has determined that 
                        no action will be taken on the regulation. Such 
                        a notice will be deemed a final agency action.
            ``(6) Covered regulations and other agency actions.--Solely 
        as used in this subsection, the term `regulation'--
                    ``(A) means an agency statement of general 
                applicability and future effect that is designed to 
                implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or to 
                describe the procedure or practice requirements of an 
                agency, including rules, orders of general 
                applicability, interpretive releases, and other 
                statements of general applicability that the agency 
                intends to have the force and effect of law; and
                    ``(B) does not include--
                            ``(i) a regulation issued in accordance 
                        with the formal rulemaking provisions of 
                        section 556 or 557 of title 5, United States 
                        Code;
                            ``(ii) a regulation that is limited to 
                        agency organization, management, or personnel 
                        matters;
                            ``(iii) a regulation promulgated pursuant 
                        to statutory authority that expressly prohibits 
                        compliance with this provision; and
                            ``(iv) a regulation that is certified by 
                        the agency to be an emergency action, if such 
                        certification is published in the Federal 
                        Register.''.

SEC. 603. SENSE OF CONGRESS RELATING TO OTHER REGULATORY ENTITIES.

    It is the sense of the Congress that other regulatory entities, 
including the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Municipal 
Securities Rulemaking Board, and any national securities association 
registered under section 15A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 
U.S.C. 78o-3) should also follow the requirements of section 23(e) of 
such Act, as added by this title.

SEC. 604. INTERPRETIVE GUIDANCE NULL AND VOID.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no interpretive 
guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission on or after 
the effective date of this Act relating to ``Commission Guidance 
Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change'', affecting parts 211, 
231, and 249 of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations (as described in 
Commission Release Nos. 33-9106; 34-61469; FR-82), or any successor 
thereto, may take effect, and such guidance shall have no force or 
effect with respect to any person on or after February 2, 2010.

SEC. 605. OTHER SEC ACTION PROHIBITED.

    (a) Further Guidance Related to Climate Change.--The Commission may 
not issue any interpretive guidance with respect to disclosures related 
to climate change on or after the effective date of this Act.
    (b) Voluntary Submissions.--The Commission may not issue any 
interpretive guidance that would establish any requirements with 
respect to the content of or format for any disclosures related to 
climate change voluntarily submitted by any entity to the Commission on 
or after the effective date of this Act.
    (c) Civil and Administrative Actions.--No civil or administrative 
action or proceeding pertaining to disclosures related to climate 
change may be initiated by the Commission on or after the date of the 
enactment of this Act and any such actions or proceedings pending on 
such date shall be terminated.
    (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed as to--
            (1) prohibit the Commission from issuing interpretive 
        guidance with respect to disclosures related to non-
        anthropogenic or natural climate variability observed over 
        comparable time periods; or
            (2) terminate an administrative action or proceeding 
        pertaining to such disclosures.

  TITLE VII--CONSIDERATION BY COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION OF 
                       CERTAIN COSTS AND BENEFITS

SEC. 701. CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION OF 
              THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ITS REGULATIONS AND ORDERS.

    Section 15(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 19(a)) is 
amended by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following:
            ``(1) In general.--Before promulgating a regulation under 
        this Act or issuing an order (except as provided in paragraph 
        (3)), the Commission, through the Office of the Chief 
        Economist, shall assess the costs and benefits, both 
        qualitative and quantitative, of the intended regulation and 
        propose or adopt a regulation only on a reasoned determination 
        that the benefits of the intended regulation justify the costs 
        of the intended regulation (recognizing that some benefits and 
        costs are difficult to quantify). It must measure, and seek to 
        improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements.
            ``(2) Considerations.--In making a reasoned determination 
        of the costs and the benefits, the Commission shall evaluate--
                    ``(A) considerations of protection of market 
                participants and the public;
                    ``(B) considerations of the efficiency, 
                competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures and 
                swaps markets;
                    ``(C) considerations of the impact on market 
                liquidity in the futures and swaps markets;
                    ``(D) considerations of price discovery;
                    ``(E) considerations of sound risk management 
                practices;
                    ``(F) available alternatives to direct regulation;
                    ``(G) the degree and nature of the risks posed by 
                various activities within the scope of its 
                jurisdiction;
                    ``(H) whether, consistent with obtaining regulatory 
                objectives, the regulation is tailored to impose the 
                least burden on society, including market participants, 
                individuals, businesses of differing sizes, and other 
                entities (including small communities and governmental 
                entities), taking into account, to the extent 
                practicable, the cumulative costs of regulations;
                    ``(I) whether the regulation is inconsistent, 
                incompatible, or duplicative of other Federal 
                regulations;
                    ``(J) whether, in choosing among alternative 
                regulatory approaches, those approaches maximize net 
                benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
                and other benefits, distributive impacts, and equity); 
                and
                    ``(K) other public interest considerations.''.

   TITLE VIII--ENSURING HIGH STANDARDS FOR AGENCY USE OF SCIENTIFIC 
                              INFORMATION

SEC. 801. REQUIREMENT FOR FINAL GUIDELINES.

    (a) In General.--Not later than January 1, 2013, each Federal 
agency shall have in effect guidelines for ensuring and maximizing the 
quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of scientific information 
relied upon by such agency.
    (b) Content of Guidelines.--The guidelines described in subsection 
(a), with respect to a Federal agency, shall ensure that--
            (1) when scientific information is considered by the agency 
        in policy decisions--
                    (A) the information is subject to well-established 
                scientific processes, including peer review where 
                appropriate;
                    (B) the agency appropriately applies the scientific 
                information to the policy decision;
                    (C) except for information that is protected from 
                disclosure by law or administrative practice, the 
                agency makes available to the public the scientific 
                information considered by the agency;
                    (D) the agency gives greatest weight to information 
                that is based on experimental, empirical, quantifiable, 
                and reproducible data that is developed in accordance 
                with well-established scientific processes; and
                    (E) with respect to any proposed rule issued by the 
                agency, such agency follows procedures that include, to 
                the extent feasible and permitted by law, an 
                opportunity for public comment on all relevant 
                scientific findings;
            (2) the agency has procedures in place to make policy 
        decisions only on the basis of the best reasonably obtainable 
        scientific, technical, economic, and other evidence and 
        information concerning the need for, consequences of, and 
        alternatives to the decision; and
            (3) the agency has in place procedures to identify and 
        address instances in which the integrity of scientific 
        information considered by the agency may have been compromised, 
        including instances in which such information may have been the 
        product of a scientific process that was compromised.
    (c) Approval Needed for Policy Decisions to Take Effect.--No policy 
decision issued after January 1, 2013, by an agency subject to this 
section may take effect prior to such date that the agency has in 
effect guidelines under subsection (a) that have been approved by the 
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
    (d) Policy Decisions Not in Compliance.--A policy decision of an 
agency that does not comply with guidelines approved under subsection 
(c) shall be deemed to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of 
discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law.
    (e) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
            (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) Policy decision.--The term ``policy decision'' means, 
        with respect to an agency, an agency action as defined in 
        section 551(13) of title 5, United States Code, (other than an 
        adjudication, as defined in section 551(7) of such title), and 
        includes--
                    (A) the listing, labeling, or other identification 
                of a substance, product, or activity as hazardous or 
                creating risk to human health, safety, or the 
                environment; and
                    (B) agency guidance.
            (3) Agency guidance.--The term ``agency guidance'' means an 
        agency statement of general applicability and future effect, 
        other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a 
        statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or on an 
        interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue.

     TITLE IX--TRACKING THE COST TO TAXPAYERS OF FEDERAL LITIGATION

SEC. 901. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Tracking the Cost to Taxpayers of 
Federal Litigation Act''.

SEC. 902. MODIFICATION OF EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE PROVISIONS.

    (a) Agency Proceedings.--Section 504 of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (c)(1), by striking ``, United States 
        Code''; and
            (2) by striking subsections (e) and (f) and inserting the 
        following:
    ``(e)(1) The Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the 
United States, after consultation with the Chief Counsel for Advocacy 
of the Small Business Administration, shall report annually to the 
Congress on the amount of fees and other expenses awarded during the 
preceding fiscal year pursuant to this section. The report shall 
describe the number, nature, and amount of the awards, the claims 
involved in the controversy, and any other relevant information that 
may aid the Congress in evaluating the scope and impact of such awards. 
Each agency shall provide the Chairman in a timely manner all 
information necessary for the Chairman to comply with the requirements 
of this subsection. The report shall be made available to the public 
online.
    ``(2)(A) The report required by paragraph (1) shall account for all 
payments of fees and other expenses awarded under this section that are 
made pursuant to a settlement agreement, regardless of whether the 
settlement agreement is sealed or otherwise subject to nondisclosure 
provisions, except that any version of the report made available to the 
public may not reveal any information the disclosure of which is 
contrary to the national security of the United States.
    ``(B) The disclosure of fees and other expenses required under 
subparagraph (A) does not affect any other information that is subject 
to nondisclosure provisions in the settlement agreement.
    ``(f) The Chairman of the Administrative Conference shall create 
and maintain online a searchable database containing the following 
information with respect to each award of fees and other expenses under 
this section:
            ``(1) The name of each party to whom the award was made.
            ``(2) The name of each counsel of record representing each 
        party to whom the award was made.
            ``(3) The agency to which the application for the award was 
        made.
            ``(4) The name of each counsel of record representing the 
        agency to which the application for the award was made.
            ``(5) The name of each administrative law judge, and the 
        name of any other agency employee serving in an adjudicative 
        role, in the adversary adjudication that is the subject of the 
        application for the award.
            ``(6) The amount of the award.
            ``(7) The names and hourly rates of each expert witness for 
        whose services the award was made under the application.
            ``(8) The basis for the finding that the position of the 
        agency concerned was not substantially justified.
    ``(g) The online searchable database described in subsection (f) 
may not reveal any information the disclosure of which is prohibited by 
law or court order, or the disclosure of which is contrary to the 
national security of the United States.''.
    (b) Court Cases.--Section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code, 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(5)(A) The Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the 
United States shall report annually to the Congress on the amount of 
fees and other expenses awarded during the preceding fiscal year 
pursuant to this subsection. The report shall describe the number, 
nature, and amount of the awards, the claims involved in each 
controversy, and any other relevant information which may aid the 
Congress in evaluating the scope and impact of such awards. Each agency 
shall provide the Chairman with such information as is necessary for 
the Chairman to comply with the requirements of this paragraph. The 
report shall be made available to the public online.
    ``(B)(i) The report required by subparagraph (A) shall account for 
all payments of fees and other expenses awarded under this subsection 
that are made pursuant to a settlement agreement, regardless of whether 
the settlement agreement is sealed or otherwise subject to 
nondisclosure provisions, except that any version of the report made 
available to the public may not reveal any information the disclosure 
of which is contrary to the national security of the United States.
    ``(ii) The disclosure of fees and other expenses required under 
clause (i) does not affect any other information that is subject to 
nondisclosure provisions in the settlement agreement.
    ``(C) The Chairman of the Administrative Conference shall include 
and clearly identify in the annual report under subparagraph (A), for 
each case in which an award of fees and other expenses is included in 
the report--
            ``(i) any amounts paid from section 1304 of title 31 for a 
        judgment in the case;
            ``(ii) the amount of the award of fees and other expenses; 
        and
            ``(iii) the statute under which the plaintiff filed suit.
    ``(6) The Chairman of the Administrative Conference shall create 
and maintain online a searchable database containing the following 
information with respect to each award of fees and other expenses under 
this subsection:
            ``(A) The name of each party to whom the award was made.
            ``(B) The name of each counsel of record representing each 
        party to whom the award was made.
            ``(C) The agency involved in the case.
            ``(D) The name of each counsel of record representing the 
        agency involved in the case.
            ``(E) The name of each judge in the case, and the court in 
        which the case was heard.
            ``(F) The amount of the award.
            ``(G) The names and hourly rates of each expert witness for 
        whose services the award was made.
            ``(H) The basis for the finding that the position of the 
        agency concerned was not substantially justified.
    ``(7) The online searchable database described in paragraph (6) may 
not reveal any information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law 
or court order, or the disclosure of which is contrary to the national 
security of the United States.
    ``(8) The Attorney General of the United States shall provide to 
the Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States in a 
timely manner all information necessary for the Chairman to carry out 
the Chairman's responsibilities under this subsection.''.
    (c) Clerical Amendment.--Section 2412(e) of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``of section 2412 of title 28, United 
States Code,'' and inserting ``of this section''.

            Passed the House of Representatives July 26, 2012.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.
                                                       Calendar No. 477

112th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 4078

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

 To provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action 
   until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             July 31, 2012

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar