IDFA joined more than 600 business organizations from 50 states this week on a letter to Senate leaders, urging them to support the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 that Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) plans to introduce in the Senate this year. The act, recently passed in the House of Representatives, is intended to ensure “transparency, accountability and integrity” in the rulemaking process at federal agencies.

“We believe that federal regulations should be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while implementing congressional intent,” the organizations said in the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Noting that the Trump Administration and the House are aligned on the need for regulatory reform, they added, “The Senate has a unique chance to bring real structural reform to the way agencies adopt the most costly rules that fundamentally change our nation.”

Read the letter here.


The Regulatory Accountability Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), combined six separate reform bills that had already passed in the House. The act aims to:

  • Require agencies to choose the lowest-cost rulemaking alternative that meets statutory objectives and require greater opportunity for public input and vetting of critical information, especially for major and billion-dollar rules. (Title I—Regulatory Accountability Act)
  • End judicial deference to statutory and regulatory interpretations. (Title II—Separation of Powers Restoration Act)
  • Require agencies to account for the direct, indirect, and cumulative impact of new regulations on small businesses and find flexible ways to reduce them. (Title III—Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act)
  • Prohibit new billion-dollar rules from taking effect until courts can resolve litigation challenging their promulgation. (Title IV—REVIEW Act)
  • Force agencies to publish timely information online about regulations in development and their expected nature, costs and timing. (Title V—ALERT Act)
  • Publish plain-language, online summaries of new proposed rules, so the public can understand them. (Title VI—Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act)

For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at