Lankford, Sinema Introduce Regulatory Reform Bills

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s (HSGAC) Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) today introduced the Early Participation in Regulations Act and the Setting Manageable Analysis Requirements in Text (SMART) Act. Today, the HSGAC Committee held a markup of Sinema’s SMART Act, and the Committee is expected to markup the Early Participation in Regulations Act soon.

The Early Participation in Regulations Act, introduced by Lankford and cosponsored by Sinema, would direct agencies to issue advanced notices for rules costing more than $100 million annually. Agencies must outline the problem the rule intends to solve and listen to the public’s input on the subject.

The SMART Act, introduced by Sinema and cosponsored by Lankford, is a retrospective review bill that looks ahead. It requires agencies to set metrics for how a rule will be measured for success in the future and has the agency use those metrics to review the rule within 10 years.

“Senator Sinema and I introduced these bills to help resolve some of the ongoing federal regulatory issues we face,” said Lankford. “The Early Participation in Regulations Act ensures agencies consider the public’s views before regulations are written. The SMART Act requires each regulation to have a plan for future review to make sure it actually accomplishes what it was designed to do. We can hold hearings and provide oversight of federal regulations, but we must also have commonsense bills like these to force federal agencies to actually address regulatory issues before, during, and after the rulemaking process.”

“Today we continue the work of advocating for commonsense regulatory reforms. By requiring agencies to plan for reviews through the SMART Act, the reviews will be more thorough and accurate, and less expensive and time-consuming.  This will improve regulations, remove unnecessary burdens, and increase transparency and accessibility for Arizona businesses,” said Sinema.    

Last week, Lankford and Sinema held a hearing entitled, “From Beginning to End: An Examination of Agencies Early Public Engagement and Retrospective Review.” The hearing examined how agencies create regulatory schemes and the ways agencies measure success of regulations. The witnesses, former Administrators of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Sally Katzen (1993-1998) and Susan Dudley (2007-2009), discussed both advanced notices of proposed rulemaking and retrospective review of regulations. Katzen and Dudley also penned an op-ed this week in the Wall Street Journal regarding these bills and the regulatory challenges they seek to address.