“Regulatory Paralysis Act” Threatens to Weaken Nation’s Primary Health, Safety and Environmental Laws

Coalition for Sensible Safeguards Statement on the Regulatory Accountability Act, Reintroduced in Congress on Thursday (S. 1029 / H.R. 2122)

May 24, 2013

Contact: Ben Somberg, bsomberg@citizen.org (202) 588-7742

The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would weaken dozens of laws that protect the environment, public health, workplace safety and consumer rights. It would override and weaken the Clean Air Act, Consumer Product Safety Act and Food Safety Modernization Act. The bill is designed to undermine public protections, not improve them.

The RAA would paralyze the implementation of current protective laws and require federal agencies to prioritize protecting corporate interests over protecting the health and safety of American workers and families.

While federal agencies currently take years to issue health and safety standards, this bill would make that process even longer. It would allow big business lobbyists to second-guess the work of respected scientists through legal challenges, sparking a wave of litigation that would add more costs and delays to the rulemaking process, potentially putting the lives, health and safety of millions of Americans at risk.

Congress should focus its efforts on finding ways to ensure federal agencies enforce the laws designed to protect our food supply, water, air quality and financial security, and stop trying to weaken the nation’s system of regulatory safeguards.

For more information on the potential effects of the bill, see the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards’ 2011 report, Impacts of the Regulatory Accountability Act: Overturning 65 Years of Law and Leaving Americans Less Protected. The new version of the bill has been partially revised; the problems at the heart of the bill, discussed in the CSS report, remain.

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The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of consumer, 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, go to www.sensiblesafeguards.org.