In mid-May, a Senate committee advanced its version of the Regulatory Accountability Act, a bill that will benefit U.S. agriculture by making federal agencies more accountable and transparent in rule-making.  

Under the RAA, federal agencies must provide the public with more information regarding the most costly regulations before initiating rule-making; undertake a cost/benefit analysis; select the most cost-effective approach; consider reasonable alternatives to proposed rules; and use the best scientific, technical and economic information.  

The legislation would prohibit agencies from using social media or engaging in propaganda to lobby the public, as the Environmental Protection Agency did when introducing its Waters of the U.S. rule. If enacted, this bipartisan legislation would be the most significant regulatory reform to the Administrative Procedure Act since it was first passed in 1946.

Focus on Ag column (June 07, 2017)