Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 and the Bumpers Amendment

The Regulatory Accountability Act is one of the most comprehensive regulatory reform bills under consideration by the Congress.

It should be noted that more than three decades ago Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, a senator with a near 100% rating by liberal groups, introduced the Bumpers Amendment, a proposal to improve the regulatory process by eliminating the deference accorded to agency decisions.

It is very possible that the Bumpers Amendment would have passed had it not been subject to immense opposition by the Carter White House. An Index of OMB internal papers identifies a White Memorandum on Bumpers (Item 3) which CRE is trying to locate.

Academicians might analyze both the differences in the two methods for “improving” the regulatory process and the significance of the aforementioned differences given the institutional changes that have occurred over the past three decades.  A reference document is the Review of Jurisdictional Issues Under the Bumpers Amendment by Professor Ronald Levin.  The ABA supported the Bumpers Amendment.

There is a basis for disagreements on the best way to improve the regulatory process and there might be a need to tailor legislation to particular agencies, or to independent agencies in lieu of Executive Branch agencies. One agency in need of immediate improvement is the FTC who denies the public the right to utilize the Data Quality Act unless they meet the requirements of Article III Standing.

Why not pass a Bumpers Amendment applicable to only the FTC?

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