Coalition Press Advisory: House to Vote on Major Deregulation Bills That Would Pose a Serious Threat to Public Safety


December 1, 2011
Contact: Rich Robinson (202) 588-7773 or; Brian Gumm (202) 683-4812 or

House to Vote on Major Deregulation Bills That Would Pose a Serious Threat to Public Safety

NOTE: The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards has many experts available to assist you in your coverage of this story.  A list is below.

As early as today, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the “Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2011” (H.R. 3010) and the “Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act” (H.R. 527). The “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011” (H.R. 10) is expected to come to the House floor for a vote early next week. All three of these bills attempt to grind the rulemaking process to a halt, thereby placing corporate interests ahead of public health, safety, environmental protection and a secure economy.

The RAA is an insidious and harmful attack on public protections. It would impose extensive and onerous new burdens on regulatory agencies seeking to issue new rules and empower Big Business with new opportunities to challenge proposed health, safety, environmental, financial and other regulations. It also would override bipartisan laws that have been on the books for years, including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, by requiring that all agencies – regardless of their legally-mandated missions – adopt the least costly rule, regardless of the impact on public health and safety, the stability our financial system or the quality of our environment.

The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act would require regulatory agencies to undertake additional and wasteful analyses before issuing new rules, undermining their ability to protect the public and respond to emerging hazards. While the bill purports to be aimed at reducing regulatory burdens for small businesses, it would apply to 99.7 percent of all businesses, including some businesses with as many as 1,500 employees.

The REINS Act would require any rule with a significant impact on the economy to be approved with no amendments by both the House and Senate. Given the slow and uncertain pace of legislative decisions, the practical impact would be that virtually no new rules would be issued.

The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards has many experts available to discuss the crucial need for public protections and the current unconscionable campaign to derail these vital safeguards:

Regulatory process:                        

Robert Weissman, Public Citizen
Katherine McFate, OMB Watch
Amit Narang, Public Citizen
Rick Melberth, OMB Watch
Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen
Jessica Randall, OMB Watch
Francesca Grifo, Union of Concerned Scientists

Environmental health:                   

Scott Slesinger, Natural Resources Defense Council
Frank O’Donnell, Clean Air Watch
Natalie Roy, Clean Water Network

Food safety:

Nancy Donley, STOP
Caroline Smith DeWaal, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Chris Waldrop, Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America

Workplace safety:                           

Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO
Justin Feldman, Public Citizen
Michael Wright, United Steelworkers

Product safety:                                 

Gary Kalman, US Public Research Interest Group
Rachel Weintraub, Consumer Federation of America
Christine Hines, Public Citizen

Jobs and the economy:                 

Isaac Shapiro, Economic Policy Institute
Sylvia Johnson, UAW

Financial security:

Heather McGhee, Demos
Lisa Donner, Americans for Financial Reform
David Arkush, Public Citizen
Bart Naylor, Public Citizen

Public health:                                     

Kate Ryan, National Women’s Health Network
Jeff Levi, Trust for America’s Health

Health care:                                        

Avram Goldstein, Health Care for America Now

Big business:                                      

Christy Setzer, US ChamberWatch
Robert Weissman, Public Citizen

Scientific integrity:                           

Francesca Grifo, Union of Concerned Scientists

To arrange an interview, contact Rich Robinson at (202) 588-7773 or Brian Gumm at (202) 683-4812

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The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of consumer, small business, labor, scientific, research, good government, faith, community, health, environmental, and public interest groups, as well as concerned individuals, joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards provides a stable framework that secures our quality of life and paves the way for a sound economy that benefits us all. For more information about the coalition, see <> .