Policy Statement on Regulatory Reform
The American Coatings Association (ACA), representing the needs of the paint and coatings industry and the more than 250,000 people who work in it, supports Congressional engagement and oversight of regulatory actions. While Congress may not delegate its essential legislative functions, it routinely transfers authority to implement laws and issue regulations to Executive Branch agencies. However, Congress retains its overall power to engage in oversight to enable it to carry out its legislative functions. By providing for the appropriate variety of regulatory analyses, Congress can facilitate a more open, thoughtful, and accountable regulatory process. When executed, regulatory oversight can help reduce unnecessary burdens and increase the benefits of rulemaking. Without oversight, excessive or poorly designed regulations can cause confusion and delay, give rise to unreasonable compliance costs in the form of capital investments, increase labor and administrative burdens, retard innovation, reduce productivity, and distort private incentives.
It is clear that Congress must act to evaluate the myriad federal agency regulations. Federal legislation is needed to give the public a greater understanding of the analytic underpinnings of agency decisions by providing for increased regulatory transparency, promoting effective congressional oversight, and increasing government accountability.
Over the past several years, various pieces of legislation have been introduced, attempting to establish a framework under which Congress would evaluate regulatory analyses. While no legislative measure or package has been successful to date, ACA supports the incorporation of the following principles in regulatory reform efforts moving forward:
- Increase Congressional oversight of regulatory costs and benefits, including economic, scientific, and policy analyses underlying the regulations;
- Require regulatory flexibility analyses to include alternatives to the proposed rule that would maximize net economic benefits or minimize net economic costs; and
- Greater Congressional oversight of the impact of new regulations and the efficacy of existing regulations.
- ACA supports and urges enactment consistent with the Regulatory Accountability Act, The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act and the RED Tape Act.
These principles would make the regulatory process more transparent, agencies more accountable, and regulations more cost-effective.