National Consumers League

Senate briefing: How congressional mandates are thwarted by our broken regulatory process

By Michell K. McIntyre, Outreach Director, Labor and Worker Rights From the safety of the food we eat to the air we breathe and the cars we drive—Congress has enacted landmark laws to tackle these threats to the public. Yet today, many of the rules required to execute these laws have been delayed and/or weakened as a result of a sluggish regulatory process.

Due to unnecessary delays, Congressional mandates and sensible safeguards are being held up, and the results can be catastrophic. While most people understand the basics of how a bill becomes a law, many don’t realize that federal laws that create new regulations must first clear the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) before going into effect. OIRA might be the most powerful federal agency consumers haven’t heard of. OIRA analyzes the costs and benefits of new rules passed by Congress and takes into consideration comments by the public and affected industries. Many significant rules have been trapped in OIRA purgatory. NCL and partnering organization will hold a Senate briefing tomorrow, October 25, to discuss our broken regulatory process. These common sense rules, passed by Congress, should not face years of unnecessary delays. Sign up for the event here.