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Protecting Democracy with the Stop Corporate Capture Act (H.R. 1507)

March 7, 2024 | Download PDF

The regulatory system is an essential pillar of a functioning democracy, a powerful tool for addressing our nation’s most pressing issues and establishing protections for the public. To realize progress, policy changes must pass through the rulemaking process for everything from workers’ rights to healthcare and climate change. These protections all depend on a transparent rulemaking process informed by independent science and robust public input.

Regrettably, decades of neglect and underinvestment threaten the functionality of the regulatory system and put the democratic process at risk. Public interest groups are overshadowed by special interests like corporations, and changes made behind closed doors to draft rules after comment periods have closed are often hidden. The process is subject to intense lobbying promoting false science and creating unsustainable bottlenecks preventing rulemakings from being implemented in a timely manner. Groups who represent marginalized communities across the country must have their voice heard in a process designed to protect and serve all Americans.

A democratic regulatory system cannot function properly until it is repaired to fully reflect the voices of the American public. The Stop Corporate Capture Act offers a comprehensive roadmap to democratize the rulemaking process, by restoring effective public participation and promoting transparency, accountability, scientific integrity and social justice. The bill increases transparency by mandating disclosure of changes made during the process, and the source of those changes. It would empower the public by creating an office specifically tasked with helping the public participate more effectively in regulatory proceedings and reduce corporate influence by making it a crime to submit false evidence to influence regulators. By leveling the playing field with corporate actors and empowering our communities, SCCA will ensure that public protections are strong and effective for generations to come.

SCCA would increase transparency and accountability in the rulemaking process while promoting social justice.

SCCA would require improved documentation of any changes made to draft rules after they are submitted to OIRA, including clear attribution of the source of those changes. Additionally, SCCA would establish an Office of the Public Advocate to promote public awareness of new rulemakings. This office would be tasked with researching and assessing the social equity impacts of the rulemaking process.

SCCA would promote scientific integrity and crack down on corporate influence.

Corporations disproportionately dominate the public comment process during new rulemakings, often using flawed and financially influenced studies and reports. SCCA would require disclosure of funding sources for all studies and reports provided in public comments and impose heightened disclosure requirements for studies that have been peer-reviewed. SCCA would also impose civil penalties on corporations that deliberately use false information to influence regulators during the rulemaking process.

SCCA would codify Chevron deference and empower agencies.

Forty years ago, the Supreme Court in Chevron mandated that the judicial branch defer to expert agencies’ statutory interpretation when Congress’ intent is not clear. Because the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is threatening to take that power away from agency officials who are responsive to the public and give it to unelected judges, SCCA would prevent that judicial power grab and center subject matter expertise in cases involving regulations, limiting the potential for political beliefs to influence the outcome of such cases.

For additional information, contact Rachel Weintraub at and visit the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards’ page on the Stop Corporate Capture Act: