H.R.309 - Regulatory Sunset and Review Act of 2013
To require the periodic review and automatic termination of Federal regulations.
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Mr. HULTGREN (for himself, Mr. GARRETT, Mr. RIBBLE, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, and Mr. WESTMORELAND) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.
(1) to require agencies to regularly review their significant rules to determine whether they should be continued without change, modified, consolidated with another rule, or terminated;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) to require agencies to consider the comments of the public, the regulated community, and the Congress regarding the actual costs and burdens of rules being reviewed under this Act, and whether the rules are obsolete, unnecessary, duplicative, conflicting, or otherwise inconsistent;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) to require that any rules continued in effect under this Act meet all the legal requirements that would apply to the issuance of a new rule, including any applicable Federal cost-benefit and risk assessment requirements;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) to provide for the review of significant rules and other rules through a sunset review process and to provide for the repeal or other change in such rules in accordance with chapters 5 and 7 of title 5, United States Code;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) to provide for a petition process that allows the public and appropriate committees of the Congress to request that other rules that are not significant be reviewed in the same manner as significant rules; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. REVIEW OF REGULATIONS.
SEC. 4. RULES COVERED.
(3) was issued pursuant to a significant regulatory action, as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866 (as in effect on the first date that Executive order was in effect).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- Any person adversely affected by a rule that is not a significant rule may submit a petition to the agency which has jurisdiction over the rule requesting that such agency designate the rule for sunset review. Such agency shall designate the rule for sunset review unless such agency determines that it would not be in the public interest to conduct a sunset review of the rule. In making such determination, such agency shall take into account the number and nature of other petitions received on the same rule and whether or not such petitions have been denied.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) RESPONSE REQUIRED FOR NONCOMPLYING PETITIONS- If an agency determines that a petition does not meet the requirements of this subsection, the agency shall provide a response to the petitioner within 30 days after receiving the petition, notifying the petitioner of the problem and providing information on how to formulate a petition that meets those requirements.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) DECISION WITHIN 90 DAYS- Within the 90-day period beginning on the date of receiving a petition that meets the requirements of this subsection, the agency shall transmit a response to the petitioner stating whether the petition was granted or denied, except that the agency may extend such period by a total of not more than 30 days.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) PETITIONS DEEMED GRANTED FOR SUBSTANTIAL INEXCUSABLE DELAY- A petition for sunset review of a rule is deemed to have been granted by an agency, and such agency is deemed to have designated the rule for sunset review, if a court finds there is a substantial and inexcusable delay, beyond the period specified in paragraph (4), in notifying the petitioner of the agency’s determination to grant or deny the petition.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- An appropriate committee of the Congress, or a majority of the majority party members or a majority of nonmajority party members of such committee, may request in writing that the Administrator designate any rule that is not a significant rule for sunset review. The Administrator shall designate such rule for sunset review within 30 days after receipt of such request unless the Administrator determines that it would not be in the public interest to conduct a sunset review of such rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) NOTICE OF DENIAL- If the Administrator denies a congressional request under this subsection, the Administrator shall transmit to the congressional committee making the request a notice stating the reasons for the denial.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Publication of Notice of Designation for Sunset Review- After designating a rule under subsection (c) or (d) for sunset review, the agency or the Administrator shall promptly publish a notice of that designation in the Federal Register.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. CRITERIA FOR SUNSET REVIEW.
(a) Compliance With Other Laws- In order for any rule subject to sunset review to continue without change or to be modified or consolidated in accordance with this Act, such rule must be authorized by law and meet all applicable requirements that would apply if it were issued as a new rule pursuant to
(b) Governing Law- If there is a conflict between applicable requirements and an Act under which a rule was issued, the conflict shall be resolved in the same manner as such conflict would be resolved if the agency were issuing a new rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. SUNSET REVIEW PROCEDURES.
(A) INVENTORY AND FIRST LIST- Within 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall conduct an inventory of existing rules and publish a first list of covered rules. The list shall--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) specify the particular group to which each significant rule is assigned under paragraph (2), and state the review deadline for all significant rules in each such group; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) SUBSEQUENT LISTS- After publication of the first list under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall publish an updated list of covered rules at least annually, specifying the review deadline for each rule on the list.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) STAGGERED REVIEW- The Administrator shall assign each significant rule in effect on the date of enactment of this Act to one of 4 groups established by the Administrator to permit orderly and prioritized sunset reviews, and specify for each group an initial review deadline in accordance with section 7(a)(1).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) PRIORITIZATIONS- In determining which rules shall be given priority in time in that assignment, the Administrator shall consult with appropriate agencies, and shall prioritize rule based on--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iv) whether a particular rule has recently been subject to cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment, with priority in time given to those rules that have not been subject to such analysis and assessment;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(v) whether a particular rule was issued under a statutory provision that provides relatively greater discretion to an official in issuing the rule, with priority in time given to those rules that were issued under provisions that provide relatively greater discretion;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) GROUPING OF RELATED RULES- The Administrator shall group related rules under paragraph (2) (and designate other rules) for simultaneous sunset review based upon their subject matter similarity, functional interrelationships, and other relevant factors to ensure comprehensive and coordinated review of redundant, overlapping, and conflicting rules and requirements. The Administrator shall ensure simultaneous sunset reviews of covered rules without regard to whether they were issued by the same agency, and shall designate any other rule for sunset review that is necessary for a comprehensive sunset review whether or not such other rule is otherwise a covered rule under this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) GUIDANCE- The Administrator shall provide timely guidance to agencies on the conduct of sunset reviews and the preparation of sunset review notices and reports required by this Act to ensure uniform, complete, and timely sunset reviews and to ensure notice and opportunity for public comment consistent with section 8.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF REPORTS- The Administrator shall review and evaluate each preliminary and final report submitted by the agency pursuant to this section. Within 90 days after receiving a preliminary report, the Administrator shall transmit comments to the head of the agency regarding--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) publish a sunset review notice in accordance with section 8(a) in the Federal Register and, to the extent reasonable and practicable, in other publications or media that are designed to reach those persons most affected by the covered rule; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) request the views of the Administrator and the appropriate committees of the Congress on whether to continue without change, modify, consolidate, or terminate the covered rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) at least 1 year before the review deadline under section 7(a) for the covered rule, publish in the Federal Register, in accordance with section 8(b), and transmit to the Administrator and the appropriate committees of the Congress a preliminary report.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) FINAL REPORT- The agency shall consider the public comments and other recommendations generated by the preliminary report under paragraph (2) for a covered rule, and shall consult with the appropriate committees of the Congress before issuing a final report. At least 90 days before the review deadline of the covered rule, the agency shall publish in the Federal Register, in accordance with section 8(c)(2) or 8(d), and transmit a final report to the Administrator and the appropriate committees of the Congress.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) OPEN PROCEDURES REGARDING SUNSET REVIEW- In any sunset review conducted pursuant to this Act, the agency conducting the review shall make a written record describing the subject of all contacts the agency or Administrator made with non-governmental persons outside the agency relating to such review. The written record of such contact shall be made available, upon request, to the public.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Effectiveness of Agency Recommendation- If a final report under subsection (b)(3) recommends that a covered rule should be continued without change, the covered rule shall be continued. If a final report under subsection (b)(3) recommends that a covered rule should be modified, consolidated with another rule, or terminated, the rule may be modified, so consolidated, or terminated in accordance with section 8(d).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Preservation of Independence of Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies- The head of any appropriate Federal banking agency (as that term is defined in section 3(q) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (
SEC. 7. REVIEW DEADLINES FOR COVERED RULES.
(1) EXISTING SIGNIFICANT RULES- For a significant rule in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, the initial review deadline is the last day of the 4-year, 5-year, 6-year, or 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, as specified by the Administrator under section 6(a)(2)(A). For any significant rule that 6 months after the date of enactment is not assigned to such a group specified under section 6(a)(2)(A), the initial review deadline is the last day of the 4-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) NEW SIGNIFICANT RULES- For a significant rule that first takes effect after the date of the enactment of this Act, the initial review deadline is the last day of either--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) if the Administrator determines as part of the rulemaking process that the rule is issued pursuant to negotiated rulemaking procedures or that compliance with the rule requires substantial capital investment, the 7-year period beginning on the date the rule takes effect.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) RULES COVERED PURSUANT TO PUBLIC PETITION OR CONGRESSIONAL REQUEST- For any rule subject to sunset review pursuant to a public petition under section 4(c) or a congressional request under section 4(d), the initial review deadline is the last day of the 3-year period beginning on--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) RELATED RULE DESIGNATED FOR REVIEW- For a rule that the Administrator designates under section 6(a)(3) for sunset review because it is related to another covered rule and that is grouped with that other rule for simultaneous review, the initial review deadline is the same as the review deadline for that other rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Temporary Extension- The review deadline under subsection (a) for a covered rule may be extended by the Administrator for not more than 6 months by publishing notice thereof in the Federal Register that describes reasons why the temporary extension is necessary to respond to or prevent an emergency situation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Determinations Where Rules Have Been Amended- For purposes of this Act, if various provisions of a covered rule were issued at different times, then the rule as a whole shall be treated as if it were issued on the later of--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. SUNSET REVIEW NOTICES AND AGENCY REPORTS.
(A) the direct and indirect costs incurred because of the rule, including the net reduction in the value of private property (whether real, personal, tangible, or intangible), and whether the incremental benefits of the rule exceeded the incremental costs of the rule, both generally and regarding each of the specific industries and sectors it covers;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) in the case of a rule addressing a risk to health or safety or the environment, what the perceived risk was at the time of issuance and to what extent the risk predictions were accurate;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(E) whether the rule unnecessarily impeded domestic or international competition or unnecessarily intruded on free market forces, and whether the rule unnecessarily interfered with opportunities or efforts to transfer to the private sector duties carried out by the Government;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(G) whether compliance with the rule required substantial capital investment and whether terminating the rule on the next review deadline would create an unfair advantage to those who are not in compliance with it;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(H) whether the rule constituted the least cost method of achieving its objective consistent with the criteria of the Act under which the rule was issued, and to what extent the rule provided flexibility to those who were subject to it;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) specific requests for factual findings and recommended legal conclusions regarding the application of section 5 to the rule, the continued need for the rule, and whether the rule duplicates functions of another rule;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) contain the factual findings and legal conclusions of the agency conducting the review regarding the application of section 5 to the rule and the agency’s proposed recommendation as to whether the rule should be continued without change, modified, consolidated with another rule, or terminated;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Rulemaking- The final report under subsection (c)(3) or (c)(4) shall be published in the Federal Register and its publication shall constitute publication of the notice required by subsection (c)(3)(A). After publication of the final report under subsection (c)(3) or (c)(4) on a sunset review of a rule, the agency which conducted such review shall conduct the rulemaking which is called for in such report.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Legislative Recommendations- In any case in which the head of an agency determines that a rule in a final report under subsection (c)(3) or (c)(4) cannot be changed, modified, or consolidated with another rule without legislative action, such head shall include in such final report a description of what legislative changes are required to implement the recommendations in such final report with regard to such rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 9. DESIGNATION OF AGENCY REGULATORY REVIEW OFFICERS.
The head of each agency shall designate an officer of the agency as the Regulatory Review Officer of the agency. The Regulatory Review Officer of an agency shall be responsible for the implementation of this Act by the agency and shall report directly to the head of the agency and the Administrator with respect to that responsibility.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 10. RELATIONSHIP TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT.
SEC. 11. EFFECT OF TERMINATION OF A COVERED RULE.
(1) this Act shall not be construed to prevent the President or an agency from exercising any authority that otherwise exists to implement the statute under which the rule was issued;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) in an agency proceeding or court action between an agency and a non-agency party, the rule shall be given no conclusive legal effect but may be submitted as evidence of prior agency practice and procedure; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) this Act shall not be construed to prevent the continuation or institution of any enforcement action that is based on a violation of the rule that occurred before the effectiveness of the rule terminated.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding subsection (a), any deadline for, relating to, or involving any action dependent upon, any rule terminated under this Act is suspended until the agency that issued the rule issues a new rule on the same matter, unless otherwise provided by a law.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) DEADLINE DEFINED- In this subsection, the term ‘deadline’ means any date certain for fulfilling any obligation or exercising any authority established by or under any Federal rule, or by or under any court order implementing any Federal rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 12. JUDICIAL REVIEW.
(a) In General- A denial or substantial inexcusable delay in granting or denying a petition under section 4(c) shall be considered final agency action subject to review under
(b) Time Limitation on Filing a Civil Action- Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, an action seeking judicial review of a final agency action under this Act may not be brought--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) in the case of a final agency action denying a public petition under section 4(c) or continuing without change, modifying, consolidating, or terminating a covered rule, more than 30 days after the date of that agency action; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) in the case of an action challenging a delay in deciding on a petition for a rule under section 4(c), more than 1 year after the period applicable to the rule under section 4(c)(4).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Availability of Judicial Review Unaffected- Except to the extent that there is a direct conflict with the provisions of this Act, nothing in this Act is intended to affect the availability or standard of judicial review for agency regulatory action.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 13. DEFINITIONS.
(3) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE OF THE CONGRESS- The term ‘appropriate committee of the Congress’ means, with respect to a rule, each standing committee of Congress having authority under the Rules of the House of Representatives or the Senate to report a bill to amend the provision of law under which the rule is issued.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) MAJOR RULE- The term ‘major rule’ means any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget finds has resulted in or is likely to result in--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) GENERAL RULE- Subject to subparagraph (B), the term ‘rule’ means any agency statement of general applicability and future effect, including agency guidance documents, designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy, or describing the procedures or practices of an agency, or intended to assist in such actions, but does not include--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) regulations or other agency statements issued in accordance with formal rulemaking provisions of sections 556 and 557 of title 5, United States Code, or in accordance with other statutory formal rulemaking procedures required for such regulations or statements;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iv) regulations, statements, or other agency actions that are reviewed and usually modified each year (or more frequently), or are reviewed regularly and usually modified based on changing economic or seasonal conditions;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(v) regulations or other agency actions that grant an approval, license, permit, registration, or similar authority or that grant or recognize an exemption or relieve a restriction, or any agency action necessary to permit new or improved applications of technology or to allow the manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of a substance or product; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) SCOPE OF A RULE- For purposes of this Act, each set of rules designated in the Code of Federal Regulations as a part shall be treated as one rule. Each set of rules that do not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations and that are comparable to a part of that Code under guidelines established by the Administrator shall be treated as one rule.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink