Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (03/24/1982)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #62 (94-0))

Regulatory Reform Act - Amends the Administrative Procedure Act to exempt from its applicability any rule involving public property, contracts, or general policy statements of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Repeals the current exemption provided for matters relating to loans, grants, and benefits.

Requires a notice of proposed rulemaking to include: (1) a statement of need and objectives; (2) a statement that the agency seeks proposals of alternative methods from the public and State and local governments; (3) a description of the information on which the agency plans to rely in the rulemaking; and (4) a statement specifying where copies of the rulemaking file may be obtained.

Allows an agency to adopt a rule before publishing notice, providing a period for public comment, or establishing a rulemaking file, when notice or hearing is not required by another statute, if: (1) it publishes its findings that compliance with such procedures before the rule becomes effective would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest; and (2) it completes such procedures as soon as practicable after the rule is promulgated.

Requires an agency to publish a notice and allow a period for comment on any final rule which is substantially different from the original rule as proposed.

Directs each agency to give interested persons at least 60 days to submit written comments on a proposed rule. Permits an agency to use any appropriate procedure to elicit full and representative public comment on the significant issues of a rulemaking. Requires an agency to provide an opportunity for oral presentations at informal public hearings in a rulemaking for a "major rule," as defined by this Act.

Requires agencies to publish with each final rule a notice of its effective date and a statement of its basis and purpose, including: (1) a discussion of significant issues and alternative approaches raised by public comments; and (2) an explanation of how the agency's factual determinations are substantially supported in the rulemaking file. Prohibits an agency promulgating a rule from relying on any material not placed in the rulemaking file in time to afford an adequate period for public comment.

Directs each agency to give interested persons the right to petition for an interpretation of or exemption from a rule. Requires an agency to respond promptly and in writing to such a petition.

Requires that each agency maintain a public file of the paperwork, data, and comments pertaining to each rulemaking which shall constitute the rulemaking record for purposes of judicial review. Allows an agency to exclude from the file material exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, if the agency includes a summary of such material or a notice of the existence of such material.

Prohibits an agency rule from substantially changing the requirement of any existing contract, agreement, or grant between a Federal agency and a State or local government for one year after the rule takes effect, unless the agency publishes a finding that delaying the rule's effect would be contrary to the public interest.

Provides for the judicial review of agency compliance with rulemaking requirements under this Act.

Requires each agency: (1) prior to publishing a rulemaking notice, to determine whether a proposed rule is a "major rule" and (2) to include an explanation of such determination in the notice. Authorizes the President or a selected officer to determine that a rule is a major rule within 30 days after publication of the rulemaking notice and to designate not more than 75 rules as major rules during any fiscal year.

Requires an agency to issue, to enter into the rulemaking file, and to publish in summary form a preliminary rulemaking analysis of each proposed major rule, with specified exceptions. Provides 60 days for public comment on such analysis. Lists the contents of such analysis, including: (1) a description of quantifiable and nonquantifiable costs and benefits; (2) a description of reasonable alternatives; (3) a statement identifying the source of Federal funds, if any, to pay costs imposed on State and local governments; (4) a description of agency action to verify data; and (5) an explanation of why the rule chosen is more cost effective than the alternatives. Directs the agency to issue a final regulatory analysis upon publishing a final major rule, to place such analysis in the rulemaking file, and to summarize such analysis in the statement of the basis and purpose of the rule. Establishes guidelines for the evaluation and description of benefits and costs in the preparation of such analysis.

Limits judicial review over: (1) the designation of a major rule; or (2) any regulatory analysis.

Authorizes the President to establish procedures for agency compliance with the regulatory analysis and sunset review requirements under this Act and to monitor and enforce agency implementation of such procedures, except for rules issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Directs the President to report to Congress annually on agency compliance with regulatory analysis requirements.

Requires each agency to publish for public comment a proposed schedule for the review of its existing major rules and other rules selected for review by the agency or the President. Directs each agency to publish a final schedule with its responses to public comments within one year of enactment of this Act.

Requires each agency to review major rules within ten years after enactment of this Act, or within ten years after such a rule is promulgated, amended, or renewed, whichever is later.

Directs each agency to publish a notice of its proposed action regarding a reviewed rule. Requires that the notice: (1) assess the costs and benefits of the rule; and (2) invite public proposals for modifications or alternatives. Requires an agency to follow normal rulemaking procedures when amending or rescinding a rule. Specifies procedures for renewing a rule without amendment.

Provides for: (1) extension of the review period to not to exceed 15 years; (2) revision of the review schedule; and (3) expedited agency action if a review deadline is not met.

Requires each agency to publish in the Federal Register, semiannually, an agenda of the rules the agency expects to propose, promulgate, renew, or repeal within the next twelve months, including a schedule of the agency actions pertaining to each rule. Directs the President to publish, semiannually, a Calendar of Federal Regulations, listing each of the major rules included in such agenda. Allows an agency to promulgate a major rule not listed in such agenda only if it publishes an explanation of why the rule was omitted.

Requires each agency to include in the notice of a proposed rulemaking the date by which it intends to complete action or each major portion of action on the rule. Directs an agency that fails to complete action by such date and that expects a delay of more than 30 days to announce a new deadline for action.

Directs the President to report to Congess annually on the regulatory activities of the Government. Requires that the report include estimates of the costs and benefits to each major sector of the economy of all major rules promulgated during the preceding year, included in the regulatory agenda for the preceding year, or scheduled for review.

Directs a court reviewing an agency action to: (1) determine the authority or jurisdiction of the agency on the basis of the language of the authorizing statute or other evidence of legislative intent; (2) accord no presumption in favor of or against agency action, but to give an agency's interpretation of a statutory provision such weight as it warrants; and (3) determine whether the factual basis of an agency rule has substantial support in the rulemaking file.

Declares that when proceedings for review of the same agency action are instituted in two or more courts of appeals within five days, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall select, by a system of random selection, the court in which the record shall be filed. Authorizes the courts to postpone the effective date of the agency action until after such selection is made.

Amends the Federal Advisory Committee Act to exclude from the definition of "advisory committee" for purposes of such Act any committee which is composed wholly of elected State or local officials or their representatives.

Grants Federal district courts original jurisdiction of any civil action or proceeding to resolve a controversy between two or more regulatory agencies not of the same State concerning jurisdiction to regulate a public utility, unless the courts of appeals have exclusive original jurisdiction to review actions of one of the regulatory agencies involved. States that a declaratory judgment in such a proceeding shall not be withheld: (1) on the ground that a controversary over matters other than jurisdiction to regulate may exist between the parties; (2) because of failure to exhaust administrative remedies; or (3) because of inconsistent provisions of other statutes providing for judicial review of agency action.

Declares that any Federal or State agency may join or be joined as a party to such action and the district court may issue its processes without regard to territorial limitations. Establishes venue for such a proceeding.

Prohibits the use of appropriated funds to pay the expenses of persons participating or intervening in agency proceedings, except as expressly authorized by statute.

Authorizes each Federal agency to adopt as a Federal rule with respect to a State or locality any State or local rule which duplicates or is substantially equivalent to or more stringent than such Federal rule.

Declares that any final agency rule, with specified exceptions including an emergency rule, shall be considered to be a recommendation to Congress and shall have no effect unless it is reviewed and not disapproved by Congress.

Directs each agency to transmit each final rule to Congress on the day the rule is transmitted for publication to the Federal Register. Prohibits the rule from becoming effective if: (1) within 45 days of continuous session of Congress (days) after the rule is received by Congress, either committee of the House or the Senate having primary legislative jurisdiction over it, reports or is discharged from consideration of a resolution disapproving it; (2) within 30 days after such resolution is reported or discharged, either House adopts it; and (3) within 30 days after the adopted resolution is transmitted to the other House, such other House agrees to it. Permits a final rule to become effective at any time after either House rejects a resolution of disapproval. Authorizes an agency to issue and submit to Congress for review a recommended final rule relating to the same acts or practices as a disapproved rule. Sets forth expedited congressional procedures for the consideration of resolutions of disapproval. Declares that the provisions of this Act supercede any other provision of law requiring action by both Houses of Congress for congresssional review and disapproval of agency rules, but not any other provisions requiring action by only one House.

Amends the Government in the Sunshine Act to include the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Board as an agency subject to such Act.