09.18.15

MEDIA ADVISORY: Senator Lankford Announces Hearing to Examine The Use of Agency Regulatory Guidance

WASHINGTON, DC – The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, under the chairmanship of Senator James Lankford (R-OK), will hold a hearing on Wednesday, September 23, at 11:00am ET entitled, "Examining the Use of Agency Regulatory Guidance." 

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) allows agencies to produce guidance documents to clarify issues in an existing regulation.  Specifically, the APA allows that agencies issue non- economically significant guidance without publication in the Federal Register or notice and comment.  By definition, these guidance documents themselves cannot bind regulated parties.  Unfortunately, this APA exception leaves open the possibility that agencies improperly issue guidance in lieu of rulemaking, in order to take advantage of the APA’s exceptions and relaxed procedures.

Because the distinction between legislative rules and guidance is in many instances blurred, and because opting to issue guidance when rulemaking would be appropriate circumvents the principles of transparency and accountability built into the APA, this hearing will examine if and how the Departments of Labor and Education improperly issue guidance, its effects on regulated parties and the public at large, and ways to ensure guidance is utilized diligently going forward.

WHAT: Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management hearing entitled, "Examining the Use of Agency Regulatory Guidance"

WHEN: Wednesday, September 23, 11:00 AM ET

WHERE: Senate Dirksen Room 342 

Witnesses:

Ms.  Michelle Sager

Director, Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Ms.  Mary Beth Maxwell

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor

Ms.  Amy McIntosh

Deputy Assistant Secretary Delegated Duties of Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

For more information or to watch a live stream of the hearing, click here(Note: Streaming will start once the hearing begins)                                       

Members of the media:

Press who want to attend should RSVP by emailing DJ@Lankford.Senate.gov. Members of the media must display current Senate press credentials in the hearing room.

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