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HR 185 - Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 - National Key Vote


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Title: Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends rulemaking procedures and requirements for federal agencies.


  • Requires an agency to consider certain factors in rulemaking, including, but not limited to the following factors (Sec 3):
    • “Reasonable” alternatives for a new rule;
    • Potential direct, indirect, and cumulative costs and benefits of “reasonable” alternatives;
    • Means to increase the cost-effectiveness of a federal response;
    • Incentives for innovation; and
    • Lower costs of enforcement and compliance.
  • Requires an agency to publish advance notice of certain proposed rules in the Federal Register at least 90 days before a notice of proposed rule-making is published in the Register, including, but not limited to, “major” and “high-impact” rules (Sec. 3). 
  • Defines “major rule” as a rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines is likely to impose certain effects, including, but not limited to, the following effects (Sec. 2):
    • An annual cost on the economy of at least $100 million;
    • A major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, local, or tribal government agencies, or geographic regions; or
    • Significant impacts on multiple sectors of the economy.
  • Defines “high impact rule” as a rule that the Administrator determines is likely to impose an annual cost on the economy of at least $1 billion (Sec. 2).
  • Requires the advance notice to provide information considered by the agency in its decision, including, but not limited to, the following information (Sec. 3):
    • A description of information known to the agency on the subject of the proposed rule;
    • A “reasoned” preliminary determination of need for the rule based on the information;
    • Risk assessment or regulatory impact analyses; and
    • A discussion of the alternatives to the proposed rule considered by the agency.
  • Requires the agency to adopt the least costly rule that is considered, except in cases where a more costly rule is justified by its additional benefits and the agency’s reasoning is based on interests of public health, safety, or welfare (Sec. 3).
  • Authorizes an individual to petition for a hearing to determine whether evidence, or other information a proposed rule is based upon, fails to comply with the Information Quality Act (Sec. 3). 
  • Authorizes an agency to deny a hearing if they exclude the evidence, or other information for the proposed rule, that resulted in the initial petition from the proposed rulemaking (Sec. 3).
  • Exempts a rulemaking that is pending or completed on the date of enactment of this Act (Sec. 9).