Industry, Labor Join Forces to Seek Regulatory Change

By Cheryl Bolen

A bipartisan, private-sector organization expected to launch on Oct. 2 will work to improve the regulatory process, a spokesman told Bloomberg BNA.

The Coalition for Regulatory Innovation includes members who believe regulatory process changes are needed to revive the economy and allow businesses to create more jobs.

“We are bipartisan and want to stay bipartisan,” said the group’s spokesman, Patrick O’Connor. “The goal of the coalition generally is to start a broader conversation about some shared principles that both Republicans and Democrats can support in terms of longer term regulatory reform.”

The group includes organizations and industry segments from across the country, nominally led by North America’s Building Trades Unions and the National Association of Manufacturers, and is reaching out now to recruit more members, O’Connor said.

Uniting Principles

“The goal of the campaign is straightforward: to lay a permanent foundation that can support both incremental and long-term reform of the federal bureaucracy,” according to the group’s website.

For now, the group is not focused on supporting or rolling back any particular rule, but is looking at broad process changes that adhere to three policy principles that hopefully both political parties can support, O’Connor said.

One is making the regulatory process more transparent and ensuring as much as possible happens out in the open, O’Connor said. Another is holding regulators more accountable by transitioning decision making back to elected officials, he said.

The last major principle is ensuring the scientific integrity of whatever data are used to establish rules, O’Connor said.

Advocacy on Back Burner, for Now

The CRI has a staff that will work with member organizations to update its website, run advertisements, and develop press statements, but the group also wants to become a clearinghouse for academic research and white papers, O’Connor said.

“Hopefully holding events, but just generally doing whatever we can to keep the conversation going, not about specific rules, but about broader process reforms,” O’Connor said.

Some of CRI’s members have been working on regulatory issues for so long that there is a sense if it can get some buy-in on basic principles from the left and right, then it can figure out what to do legislatively at the state and federal levels, O’Connor said.

Although Congress has introduced several bills that touch on the group’s principles, right now it is not advocating for any specific piece of legislation, O’Connor said. “At some point that may change, but right now what we’re really trying to do is get as many people into the tent as we possibly can,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at cbolen@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

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