Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg’s (MI-07) bipartisan legislation to provide greater transparency and help restore the integrity of the federal government’s rulemaking process passed the House of Representatives today. H.R. 1004, the Regulatory Integrity Act, requires federal 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. It is Congressman Walberg’s third bill to pass the House in the first months of the 115th Congress. Click here to watch his remarks on the House floor.
“The public comment period is a critical component of the rulemaking process, yet too often we’ve seen federal agencies treat it as a perfunctory step,” said Walberg. “The American people need to have confidence that federal agencies, regardless of whether it is a Republican or Democratic administration, are open to their insights and constructive criticism. This bipartisan bill will help restore the integrity of our regulatory process by ensuring agencies are honestly asking for feedback from the public, not advocating for a predetermined outcome.”
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.