January 6, 2016

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The 250 undersigned groups strongly support efforts by the House of Representatives to make federal agencies more accountable to the American public and improve the transparency of agency actions. The federal rulemaking process was founded on principles of open government and public participation.

We are pleased, therefore, that the House is voting on a comprehensive regulatory reform bill, H.R. 712, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act,” which would take important steps to stop the abusive practice known as “sue and settle” and give the public and affected parties a greater ability to know about potential rulemakings and to participate.

H.R. 712 embodies several major principles of accountability, transparency, and fairness, drawn directly from three regulatory reform bills:

  • Title I – the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act.” Behind closed doors, organizations and agencies enter into consent decrees or settlement agreements compelling the agencies to issue rules on an expedited timeframe. The states and the public are not given notice of the lawsuits, nor do they have a meaningful voice in the process, despite the adverse impact that rushed, sloppy regulations have on them. This title would improve the “sue and settle” process by requiring agencies to give early notice and take public comment on proposed settlement agreements obligating agencies to initiate a rulemaking or take other action on a specified timetable. These settlement agreements allow interest groups to commandeer an agency’s agenda and regulatory priorities. The bill would allow affected parties to get notice of draft settlements and provide some opportunity to participate.
  • Title II – the “All Economic Rules are Transparent (ALERT) Act.” This title would require agencies to disclose rulemakings the agency plans to propose or finalize to OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA would disseminate information about these planned rules to the public, including their estimated costs and benefits.
  • Title III – the “Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act.” This title would require federal agencies to notify the public of proposed rules each month by posting a brief, plain-English summary of each proposed regulation on regulations.gov.

Taken together, these reforms would help Congress to reassert control over federal regulatory agency actions that have become opaque, unaccountable, and often unfair. Congress must perform its critical role as overseer of the federal agencies.

The undersigned groups strongly support H.R. 712, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act,” and its comprehensive approach to regulatory reform. We urge you to pass this important bill.

Sincerely,

Alabama
Alabama Forestry Association
Business Council of Alabama
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Alaska
Alaska Chamber
Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce

Arizona
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Arizona Mining Association
Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce
Marana Chamber of Commerce
Tucson Metro Chamber

Arkansas
Arkansas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (AIPRO)
Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
Associated Industries of Arkansas

California
American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association
California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA)
California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns
California Hotel & Lodging Association
Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce
Far West Equipment Dealers Association
Gateway Chambers Alliance
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Milk Producers Council
Motorcycle Industry Council
Orange County Business Council
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling of California
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

Colorado
Associated General Contractors of Colorado
Colorado Business Roundtable
Colorado Timber Industry Association
Home Builders Association of Northern Colorado
Western Energy Alliance

Connecticut
Connecticut Business & Industry Association
Gasoline & Automotive Service Dealers of America, Inc.

Delaware
Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Florida
Associated Industries of Florida
Florida Chamber of Commerce
Florida Transportation Builders’ Association
Orlando, Inc.

Georgia
Georgia Chamber
Georgia Mining Association
Georgia Paper & Forest Products Association
Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association

Idaho
Associated Logging Contractors, Inc. – Idaho
Idaho Trucking Association

Illinois
American Foundry Society
Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
ISSA–The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association
Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA)
Mason Contractors Association of America
National Roofing Contractors Association
Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society
North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)
North American Die Casting Association
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
STI/SPFA
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce

Indiana
Indiana Cast Metals Association (INCMA)
Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Indiana Motor Truck Association

Iowa
Ames Chamber of Commerce
Mason City Chamber of Commerce

Kansas
Kansas Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky
Greater Louisville Inc.
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Kentucky Coal Association
Kentucky Forest Industries Association
Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association

Louisiana
Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)
Louisiana Landowners Association
Louisiana Oil & Gas Association

Maryland
Flexible Packaging Association
Maryland Asphalt Association, Inc.
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Massachusetts
Metro South Chamber of Commerce

Michigan
AGC of Michigan
Associated Wire Rope Fabricators
Foundry Association of Michigan
Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Minnesota
Associated General Contractors of Minnesota
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

Mississippi
Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association
Mississippi Propane Gas Association

Missouri
Equipment Dealers Association
Missouri Chamber
Missouri Grocers Association
Missouri Pest Management Association
National Corn Growers Association
Western Equipment Dealers Association

Montana
Billings Chamber of Commerce
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce
Montana Chamber of Commerce
Montana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association

Nebraska
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Nevada
Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Reno, Sparks, and Northern Nevada

New Jersey
Morris County Chamber of Commerce
New Jersey Business & Industry Association
New Jersey Motor Truck Association
New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce

New Mexico
New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association
New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc.

New York
Buffalo Niagara Partnership
North Country Chamber of Commerce
Northeastern Retail Lumber Association

North Carolina
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
North Carolina Manufacturers Alliance

North Dakota
Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce
Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association
Dickinson Area Builders Association
Forx Builders Association
Greater North Dakota Chamber
Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead
Minot Association of Builders
North Dakota Association of Builders
Williston Area Builders Association

Ohio
Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association
Forging Industry Association
Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)
Industrial Fasteners Institute
National Tooling and Machining Association
Ohio Cast Metals Association (OCMA)
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Ohio Forestry Association
Ohio Trucking Association
Precision Machined Products Association
Precision Metalforming Association
Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber

Oklahoma
Gas Processors Association
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association
The State Chamber of Oklahoma
Tulsa Regional Chamber

Oregon
Associated Oregon Industries
Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.
Klamath County Chamber of Commerce
Oregon Retail Council
Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County

Pennsylvania
Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Pennsylvania Forest Products Association
Pennsylvania Foundry Association
Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association
Printing Industries of America
Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce
The Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association Inc.

South Carolina
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, CVB
South Carolina Timber Producers Association

South Dakota
Black Hills Forest Resource Association
Intermountain Forest Association

Tennessee
Johnson City, TN Chamber of Commerce
National Cotton Council
Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Tennessee Paper Council

Texas
American Loggers Council
Consumer Energy Alliance
Electronic Security Association (ESA)
Laredo Chamber of Commerce
Longview Chamber of Commerce
McAllen Chamber of Commerce
Texas Association of Business
Texas Cast Metals Association
Texas Mining and Reclamation Association (TMRA)
Texas Wildlife Association

Utah
Salt Lake Chamber
Utah Mining Association

Virginia
American Composites Manufacturers Association
American Feed Industry Association
American Subcontractors Association, Inc.
American Trucking Associations
American Wood Council
AMT- The Association For Manufacturing Technology
Automotive Recyclers Association
Brick Industry Association
Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT)
Council of Industrial Boiler Owners
Global Cold Chain Alliance
Independent Electrical Contractors
Meat Import Council of America
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Convenience Stores
National Renderers Association
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Truck Renting and Leasing Association
Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Forest Products Association

Washington
American Exploration & Mining Association
Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce
Washington Cattle Feeders Association
Washington Retail Association

Washington D.C.
Agricultural Retailers Association
American Coatings Association
American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute
American Council of Engineering Companies
American Forest & Paper Association
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
American Highway Users Alliance
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Petroleum Institute
American Public Gas Association
American Road & Transportation Builders Association
Associated Builders and Contractors
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International
Independent Petroleum Association of America
Industrial Energy Consumers of America
Industrial Minerals Association – North America
Institute of Makers of Explosives
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Council of Textile Organizations
National Federation of Independent Business
National Grain and Feed Association
National Industrial Sand Association
National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association
National Mining Association
National Oilseed Processors Association
North American Meat Institute
SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association
Treated Wood Council
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
United States Hide, Skin and Leather Association
Vinyl Building Council
Vinyl Institute
Window and Door Manufacturers Association

West Virginia
West Virginia Chamber
West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association

Wisconsin
Greater Green Bay Chamber
Midwest Food Processors Association
Wisconsin Cast Metals Association
Wisconsin Grocers Association
Wisconsin Industrial Energy
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Wyoming
Petroleum Association of Wyoming
Wyoming Rural Electric Association
Wyoming Stock Growers Association