Summary of Recent Administrative Law Reform Bills

In the last several sessions of Congress, Members of Congress from both political parties have introduced a large number of bills designed to amend or overhaul certain aspects of the federal administrative state. Among other things, these bills would increase Congressional oversight over agencies, impose additional procedural requirements for agency rulemaking activities, require consideration of additional factors in analyzing proposed regulations, enhance requirements for cost-benefit analysis of proposed rules (including extending those requirements to independent regulatory agencies), and impose a regulatory budget requirement on agencies (e.g., mandating a repeal of one or more preexisting regulations prior to issuing a new regulation). Certain bills, such as the Regulatory Relief Act of 2017 would involve an extensive restructuring of the rulemaking process at federal agencies, whereas others, such as the We the People Democracy Reform Act of 2017, implement targeted reforms to certain procedures at specific agencies.     

Given the significance of these proposed reforms and the large number of bills introduced, the Office of the Chairman of the Administrative Conference felt that it would be useful to compile a list of bills introduced in the last several years. The resulting memorandum which covers the past seven years of legislation represents the assiduous efforts of several past and current Conference interns (whose names appear at the top of the document). The Office intends to update this document periodically to introduce new bills and to reflect subsequent developments for existing bills.

The document is intended only for informational purposes, and the Office makes no representation concerning its accuracy or completeness. In addition, the Office takes no position on the merits of the bills described. Please contact Gavin Young (gyoung@acus.gov) with any recommended additions or changes to the memorandum.