Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg’s (MI-07) legislation to provide greater transparency and help restore the integrity of the federal government’s rulemaking process advanced through the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today. H.R. 1004, the Regulatory Integrity Act, requires agencies to post, in a central location, all communications they issue during the proposed rule stage so that the public can fully participate and trust that the rulemaking process is neutral and unbiased. Congressman Walberg introduced the legislation on Monday.
“Public input is a critical component of the rulemaking process and producing final regulations that are well thought out and effective,” said Walberg. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen federal agencies view the public comment period as a perfunctory step rather than an opportunity to receive constructive feedback from the very people who will be affected by proposed regulations. It’s important to conduct this process in an open and transparent way, and the Regulatory Integrity Act will help ensure the American people’s voices are heard.”
The Regulatory Integrity Act would increase transparency to help prevent future instances of misconduct like what occurred during the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) covert campaign efforts during the public rulemaking process for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. In 2015, the New York Times reported that the EPA undertook “a campaign that tests the limits of federal lobbying law.” The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office concluded the EPA overstepped and issued a report that said the agency undertook “covert propaganda” and “grassroots lobbying” during the process.
Congressman Walberg serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. For more information on Walberg’s work in Congress visit walberg.house.gov