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Committee Leaders Request Information on Agencies’ Missing Regulatory Agendas

Republican leaders on the House Education and the Workforce Committee today sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting information regarding the failure of federal agencies to publish their April 2013 regulatory agendas. The members are requesting documents and communications related to the regulatory proposals of the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services.

“The Obama administration is once again playing a game of regulatory hide and seek with the American people,” said Chairman John Kline (R-MN). “Taxpayers, workers, and job creators deserve to know what new rules are being developed by the federal bureaucracy. That’s why laws are in place to ensure transparency and accountability within the regulatory process. It is time the Obama administration met its legal obligation to disclose the regulations it intends to pursue.”

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 requires federal agencies to publish in April and October a list of economically significant regulations under development that could affect small businesses. Additionally, Executive Order 12866 requires OMB to publish a semiannual unified agenda of all regulations that will be under development or review. Agencies submit their proposed regulations to OMB, which then discloses a complete list – referred to as the unified agenda – every six months.

The Obama administration has routinely missed these deadlines. In fact, the administration failed to publish its Spring and Fall 2012 unified agendas, choosing instead to publish a single unified regulatory agenda just days before Christmas. The Education and the Workforce Committee made numerous attempts last year to determine why the administration delayed release of its regulatory agendas, but the administration failed to provide adequate responses.

As the members state in their letter:

The administration’s actions have created an uncertain regulatory environment with real consequences across the economy. Regulatory uncertainty can hamper economic growth by undermining the ability of employers, workers, and entrepreneurs to hire, spend, and invest. Additionally, states, school districts, and institutions of higher education are impacted by the burdens created from new rules and regulations. This is especially troubling in the midst of the country’s ongoing jobs crisis.

The committee leaders request a response by June 10, 2013. Those members signing the letter are:

  • Rep. John Kline, Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), Chairman, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
  • Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), Chairman, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
  • Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Chairman, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education

To read the letter, click here.

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