AFR in the News: Senate Slows Down Controversial Cost-Benefit Analysis Bill

“A key U.S. Senate committee canceled the markup of a controversial bill requiring regulatory agencies to submit all rules to cost-benefit analysis by the White House so it can be discussed in a hearing,” Evan Weinberger of reports. The decision is “expected to slow the bill’s progress but considered unlikely to derail it,” he adds.

“It looks like they are reacting to criticisms coming from regulators and a broad array of public interest groups that care about public safety, whether the threat involves dangerous financial products, dangerous toys or dangerous chemicals,” Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, told Weinberger.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) had moved to “fast-track” the legislation, bypassing a hearing. “Reaction from current and former regulators and advocacy groups was swift and almost universally hostile, however,” according to the Law360 story. In a rare joint action, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and five other financial regulators sent a letter to the committee, objecting to a bill that would give the president “unprecedented authority” over rulemaking and cause a “fundamental change” in their role.