Rules and Rulemaking
Federal agencies are created and empowered by Congress to protect the public from dangerous food and products, ensure ethical and fair market behavior, promote equal educational opportunity and civil rights, as well as to preserve and advance American democracy, prosperity, health and welfare.
Agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others achieve these goals in large part by crafting and issuing regulations.
This process, called rulemaking, is governed by several statutes and executive orders that require an agency to solicit and consider public comment, perform rigorous analyses of costs and benefits, and work with other government actors such as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Congress before issuing a final rule.
Several statutes and executive orders in the 1990s added new requirements to the rulemaking process. Their stated purpose was to make agencies more responsive to the concerns of business, but their effect was to add major costs and delays to a process that already operated slowly and carefully. In spite of this, industry groups and their allies perennially call for adding more requirements to the rulemaking process, delaying new rules and making them more costly to produce.
The truth is that agencies do not rapidly or unilaterally issue new regulations. Instead, the process entails exhaustive studies, review panels, and multiple opportunities for the public, regulated industries, government officials and other relevant stakeholders to provide input. Rulemaking can take years, even for non-controversial rules that have universal support.
A fair debate about regulation must include an awareness and an understanding of the complexities of the rulemaking process — and the very real costs that result from delay.
CSS has taken a position and worked on the following proposed rules.