Text: S.168 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/13/2015)

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 168 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  1st Session
                                 S. 168

   To codify and modify regulatory requirements of Federal agencies.



                            January 13, 2015

  Mr. Roberts (for himself, Ms. Ayotte, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Blunt, Mr. 
 Coats, Mr. Crapo, Mrs. Fischer, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Isakson, 
 Mr. Johnson, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Wicker, Mr. 
 Tillis, and Mr. Toomey) introduced the following bill; which was read 
     twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and 
                          Governmental Affairs


                                 A BILL

   To codify and modify regulatory requirements of Federal agencies.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Regulatory Responsibility for our 
Economy Act of 2015''.


    In this Act--
            (1) the term ``agency'' means any authority of the United 
        States that is--
                    (A) an agency as defined under section 3502(1) of 
                title 44, United States Code; and
                    (B) shall include an independent regulatory agency 
                as defined under section 3502(5) of title 44, United 
                States Code;
            (2) the term ``regulation''--
                    (A) means an agency statement of general 
                applicability and future effect, which the agency 
                intends to have the force and effect of law, that is 
                designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or 
                policy or to describe the procedure or practice 
                requirements of an agency; and
                    (B) shall not include--
                            (i) regulations issued in accordance with 
                        the formal rulemaking provisions of sections 
                        556 and 557 of title 5, United States Code;
                            (ii) regulations that pertain to a military 
                        or foreign affairs function of the United 
                        States, other than procurement regulations and 
                        regulations involving the import or export of 
                        non-defense articles and services; or
                            (iii) regulations that are limited to 
                        agency organization, management, or personnel 
            (3) 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 regulation, including notices of 
        inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of 
        proposed rulemaking; and
            (4) the term ``significant regulatory action'' means any 
        regulatory action that is likely to result in a regulation that 
                    (A) have an annual effect on the economy of 
                $100,000,000 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, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
                    (B) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise 
                interfere with an action taken or planned by another 
                    (C) materially alter the budgetary impact of 
                entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or 
                the rights and obligation of recipients thereof;
                    (D) add to the national debt; or
                    (E) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out 
                of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the 
                principles set forth in this Act.


    (a) Federal Regulatory System.--The Federal regulatory system 
            (1) protect the public health, welfare, safety, and the 
        environment of the United States, especially those promoting 
        economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation;
            (2) be based on the best available science and information;
            (3) allow for public participation and an open exchange of 
            (4) promote predictability and reduce uncertainty, 
        including adherence to a clearly articulated timeline for the 
        release of regulatory documents at all stages of the regulatory 
            (5) identify and use the best, most innovative, and least 
        burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends;
            (6) take into account benefits and costs, both quantitative 
        and qualitative;
            (7) ensure that regulations are accessible, consistent, 
        written in plain language, and easy to understand; and
            (8) measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of 
        regulatory requirements.
    (b) Requirements.--Each agency shall--
            (1) propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned 
        determination that the benefits of the regulation justify the 
        costs of the regulation to the extent permitted by law;
            (2) tailor regulations of the agency to impose the least 
        burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory 
        objectives, taking into account, among other things, the costs 
        of cumulative regulations;
            (3) select, in choosing among alternative regulatory 
        approaches, those approaches that maximize net benefits, 
        including potential economic, environmental, public health and 
        safety, and other advantages, distributive impacts, and equity;
            (4) specify performance objectives, rather than specifying 
        the behavior or manner of compliance that regulated entities 
        are required to adopt;
            (5) 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; and
            (6) use the best available techniques to quantify 
        anticipated present and future benefits and costs.


    (a) In General.--Regulations shall be--
            (1) adopted through a process that involves public 
        participation; and
            (2) based, to the extent consistent with law, on the open 
        exchange of information and perspectives among State, local, 
        and tribal officials, experts in relevant disciplines, affected 
        stakeholders in the private sector, and the public as a whole.
    (b) Opportunity To Participate.--Each agency shall--
            (1) provide the public with an opportunity to participate 
        in the regulatory process;
            (2) as authorized by law, afford the public a meaningful 
        opportunity to comment through the Internet on any proposed 
        regulation, with a comment period that shall begin on the date 
        on which the proposed regulation is published in the Federal 
        Register and be not less than 60 days, unless the relevant 
        regulation is designated by the Administrator of the Office of 
        Information and Regulatory Affairs to be an emergency rule;
            (3) provide, for both proposed and final rules, timely 
        online access to the rulemaking docket on regulations.gov, 
        including relevant scientific and technical findings, in an 
        open format that can be easily searched and downloaded; and
            (4) for proposed rules, provide access to include, to the 
        extent permitted by law, an opportunity for public comment on 
        all pertinent parts of the rulemaking docket, including 
        relevant scientific and technical findings.
    (c) Seeking Affected Parties.--Before issuing a notice of proposed 
rulemaking, each agency shall, where appropriate, seek the views of 
those who are likely to be affected, including those who are likely to 
benefit from and those who are potentially subject to such rulemaking.
    (d) Delay of Implementation.--
            (1) In general.--An agency shall delay implementation of an 
        interim final rule until final disposition of a challenge is 
        entered by a court in the United States, if--
                    (A) the agency excepted the rule from notice and 
                public procedure under section 553(b)(B) of title 5, 
                United States Code; and
                    (B) the agency exception of the rule described 
                under paragraph (1) is challenged in a court in the 
                United States.
            (2) Length of delay.--If implementation of an interim final 
        rule is delayed under paragraph (1), the delay shall continue 
        until a final disposition of the challenge is entered by the 


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) some sectors and industries face a significant number 
        of regulatory requirements, some of which may be redundant, 
        inconsistent, or overlapping; and
            (2) greater coordination across agencies should reduce 
        these requirements, thus reducing costs and simplifying and 
        harmonizing rules.
    (b) Promotion of Innovation.--In developing regulatory actions and 
identifying appropriate approaches, each agency shall--
            (1) promote coordination, simplification, and 
        harmonization; and
            (2) identify means to achieve regulatory goals that are 
        designed to promote innovation.


    (a) In General.--Each agency shall identify and consider regulatory 
approaches that reduce burdens, especially economic burdens, and 
maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public.
    (b) Contents.--The approaches described under subsection (a) shall 
include warnings, appropriate default rules, disclosure requirements, 
and the provision of information to the public in a form that is clear 
and intelligible.


    Each agency shall ensure the objectivity of any scientific and 
technological information and processes used to support the regulatory 
actions of the agency.


    (a) Retrospective Analyses.--
            (1) In general.--To facilitate the periodic review of 
        existing significant regulatory actions, agencies shall 
        consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules 
        that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively 
        burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal such 
        regulations in accordance with what has been learned.
            (2) Agreement.--Once every 5 years, each agency may enter 
        into an agreement with a qualified private organization to 
        conduct the retrospective analysis described in paragraph (1) 
        of the agency.
            (3) Publication online.--Any retrospective analyses 
        conducted under this subsection, including supporting data, 
        shall be published online.
    (b) Agency Plans.--
            (1) Plan.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the 
                date of enactment of this Act, each agency shall 
                develop and submit to the appropriate congressional 
                committees a preliminary plan for reviewing significant 
                regulatory actions issued by the agency, consistent 
                with law, under which the agency shall review its 
                existing significant regulatory actions once every 5 
                years to determine whether such regulations should be 
                modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to 
                make the regulatory program of the agency more 
                effective or less burdensome in achieving the 
                regulatory objectives.
                    (B) Repeal.--If the plan described in subparagraph 
                (A) includes suggestions for needed repeals a timeline 
                for such repeals shall also be included in the plan.
            (2) Report.--Upon completion of a review under a plan 
        submitted under paragraph (1), each agency shall submit to the 
        appropriate congressional committees a report that--
                    (A) describes the outcome of the review, including 
                which regulations were modified, streamlined, expanded, 
                or repealed;
                    (B) describes the reasons for the modifications, 
                streamlining, expansions, or repeals described in 
                subparagraph (A); and
                    (C) in any case where an agency did not take 
                action, describes the reasons why the agency did not 
                take action to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal 
                any significant regulatory actions.


    Any person may file a petition for judicial review of any agency 
action required under this Act within the United States Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit or for the circuit in 
which such person resides or in which such person's principal place of 
business is located. Courts of appeals of the United States shall have 
exclusive jurisdiction of any action to obtain judicial review (other 
than in an enforcement proceeding) of such an action if any district 
court of the United States would have had jurisdiction of such action 
but for this section.

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