The Regulatory Accountability Act was passed in the house by a 238-183 vote, with only five Democrats in support. It may have a harder time passing in the Senate, though, where Republicans hold a slim majority.
This legislation is important for all CEOs, given it has the potential to affect rules in all shapes or forms, whether centered on financial markets, labor practices, food safety or the environment.
It would impose dozens of new conditions on the executive arm of government, expose proposals to greater judicial scrutiny and ultimately slow down the rule-making process. Republicans argue the legislation will rein in government over-reach, but many Democrats fear it blurs the separation between the executive and and legislative branches of power and would allow business to avoid oversight.
“Our aging regulatory system is long overdue for an upgrade,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Neil Bradley said. “This legislation would increase scrutiny of only the most impactful rules, requiring greater transparency and agency accountability.”
Other supporters of the legislation argue it would give Donald Trump the tools to honor his pledge to free business from overbearing regulation.
“The Obama Administration abused regulation to force its will on the American people,” Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte said ahead of the vote. “The assembling Trump administration promises to wipe out abusive regulation—freeing America to innovate and prosper once more.”
Democratic Congressman John Conyers said the legislation would jeopardize public safety. “Worse yet, many of these new requirements are intended to facilitate the ability of regulated entities—such as well-funded corporate interests—to intervene and derail regulatory protections they oppose.”
The Senate is currently comprised of 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats and 2 independents who caucus with Democrats. That gives opponents of the regulation more than enough scope to delay its passage via filibuster.
“Now we urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and turn their attention to regulatory reform,” the Chamber of Commerce’s Bradley said. “We need reforms that encourage business expansion, spur job creation and ultimately help grow the American economy.”