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Next Week, Regulatory Czar and Public Citizen in the Hot Seat in Corporate Congress

The McConnell-Boehner Corporate Congress continues its broadside against the regulatory system next week, and Public Citizen will be in the mix. We’re testifying Monday afternoon at a hearing on several anti-consumer regulatory bills. Then the next day, lawmakers will grill the administration’s regulatory czar. Here are more details:

• At 4 p.m. on Monday, March 2, Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, will testify before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law on three anti-regulatory bills currently under consideration. They include the Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2015 (RAPID Act), H.R. 348; the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015, H.R. 712; and the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2015 (SCRUB Act), (bill number to be determined).

If passed, these bills would delay or shut down the development and implementation of crucial public health, workplace safety, consumer, financial and environmental protections. They appear to be part of the Big Business agenda that ignores the fact that commonsense regulations are essential to fostering economic growth and protecting the pocketbooks of American consumers. The hearing will be in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building.

• On Tuesday, the administration’s regulatory czar, Howard Shelanski, will be in the hot seat. He will be the sole witness at a joint hearing held by two subcommittees of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Shelanski is administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is part of the Office of Management and Budget. He oversees rulemaking for all agencies.

The hearing, “Challenges Facing OIRA in Transparency and Effective Rulemaking,” will be 2 p.m. in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building. It will be interesting to hear what Shelanski says about transparency, because OIRA is a black hole when it comes to telling the public the status of rules it is reviewing. Despite executive orders requiring that OIRA disclose its reasons for delaying or revising rules, rules can be held at the office for long periods with no explanation.