CSS Urges Consideration of the Stop Corporate Capture Act (H.R. 1507)
Nov. 9, 2023 | Download PDF
Dear Chairman Jordan and Ranking Member Nadler:
The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) strongly supports legislative consideration of the Stop Corporate Capture Act, H.R. 1507, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
To tackle the pressing challenges we face as a nation – including the climate crisis, growing economic inequality, and racial injustice – we must have a robust, responsive, and inclusive federal regulatory system. We do not have such a regulatory system today. Instead, after decades of neglect and underinvestment, our regulatory system is now rife with delay, unbridled corporate influence, inadequate transparency, and weak public accountability. The regulatory system has also failed to keep up with innovation and technological advances, and it must do more to properly account for social justice and equity impacts.
Unfortunately, the current majority in the House of Representatives is going in the opposite and wrong direction by passing dangerous and radical legislation, such as the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, H.R. 277, that would further weaken our system of regulatory safeguards and make it even more captured by corporate special interests. Even worse, there are additional anti-regulatory bills pending for floor votes that would lead to more regulatory rollbacks that would harm consumers, workers, public health, safety, and the environment. The Stop Corporate Capture Act is important now more than ever to ensure Congress is moving the regulatory process in the right direction instead of the wrong.
The Stop Corporate Capture Act offers the necessary comprehensive blueprint for modernizing, improving, and strengthening the regulatory system to protect the public more effectively. It would level the playing field for all members of the public to have their views accounted for in regulatory decisions that affect them; promote scientific integrity; and restore our government’s ability to deliver results for workers, consumers, public health, and the environment.
Among the essential reforms this bill would introduce are the following:
End Unbridled Corporate Influence
The Stop Corporate Capture Act brings transparency to the “black box” of the White House regulatory review process, which has become a focal point for corporate lobbying. The Act accomplishes this by requiring disclosure of changes and the sources of those changes to draft rules during that process. Furthermore, the Act makes it a federal crime for corporations to submit false information in order to influence regulators during the rulemaking process.
Prioritize Social Justice and Equity
The Stop Corporate Capture Act creates an Office of the Public Advocate, charged with promoting agencies’ public engagement practices and helping members of the public to participate more effectively in regulatory proceedings, especially people from structurally marginalized communities. The Office of the Public Advocate will research the social equity impacts of the regulatory process and perform social equity assessments of pending rules when requested by the public. The Act also strengthens agency procedures for notifying the public, particularly members of structurally marginalized communities and individuals who speak languages other than English, about pending rulemakings.
Restore Scientific Integrity and Independent Expertise
The Stop Corporate Capture Act codifies Chevron deference, the long-standing legal principle that prevents judges from allowing their political preferences to influence their decisions in cases involving regulations. Chevron deference requires courts to defer to government agencies that Congress empowered to protect the public when an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute is reasonable. This makes sense, as agencies are the independent, subject-matter experts. The Act also requires anyone submitting scientific or other technical research to agencies during the rulemaking process to disclose any potential conflicts of interest the research may raise. In addition, a provision of the Act bars the White House from unreasonably delaying essential safeguards by empowering agencies to resume work if the regulatory review process fails to conclude after 60 days. Importantly, the Act authorizes agencies to quickly reinstate any rules that were rescinded through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
Congress must pass the Stop Corporate Capture Act to enact critical and long overdue reforms to our nation’s regulatory process that work for the public interest. We once again urge you to support this necessary and groundbreaking bill.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
American Economic Liberties Project
Asbestos Disease Awareness Org
Center for Auto Safety
Center for Digital Democracy
Center For Food Safety
Center for Justice & Democracy
Center for Progressive Reform
Coalition for Sensible Safeguards
Colorado Fiscal Institute
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Federation of California
Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc.
Endangered Species Coalition
Economic Policy Institute
Good Jobs First
Government Information Watch
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
International Center for Technology Assessment
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
Kids In Danger
League of Conservation Voters
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Employment Law Project
National Health Law Program
New Jersey Association on Correction
Public Justice Center
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Union of Concerned Scientists
Virginia Citizens Consumer Council