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Congressman John Ratcliffe

Representing the 4th District of Texas

House Judiciary Committee Approves Ratcliffe ALERT Act to Combat Unnecessary Regulation

April 15, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C.— The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R.1759, the All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act, by a vote of 14-9. The bill requires the administration to give the American people detailed information about upcoming regulations and prohibits regulations from taking effect unless this information is available for six months.

Regulations imposed by unelected bureaucrats have an enormous impact on families and small businesses. Employers want to focus on creating jobs for hard-working Americans. But complicated and unnecessary regulations can force them to spend vast amounts of time and money figuring out how to comply. These regulations come out nowhere, giving businesses little time to prepare.

Current law requires the administration to release an update twice a year on the regulations being developed by federal agencies. Yet under President Obama, these updates have been late—if they have been issued at all. Up to this point, there hasn’t been a way to enforce these requirements.

The ALERT Act would address this pattern of delay by increasing the quality and frequency of information that must be shared with the American people about upcoming regulations. The administration will have to explain the cost of regulations, the impact they will have on jobs, and the regulations’ legal basis. The bill prevents new rules from taking effect unless the public has had this information for six months—making compliance easier for small businesses.

U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), chief sponsor of the ALERT Act, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the Committee’s passage of the bill.

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe: “As I travel the 4th Congressional District of Texas, I hear the same message over and over again: get the government out of the way. Too many small businesses and hard-working families are drowning in regulations that unelected bureaucrats create out of thin air. I’m a limited government conservative who believes that economic prosperity and comes from the ingenuity of the American people, not the overreach of the federal government. The ALERT Act forces President Obama and the executive branch to make the American people aware of regulations that are coming down the track, so that they don’t get steamrolled in the process of trying to comply.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama made a promise to the American people that he would release the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions on a proper timetable, but has consistently broken his promise. Instead, the president has released these vital regulatory frameworks on his own timetable, which has been a detriment to small-business owners. Thousands of small businesses across the country do not have sufficient time and resources to adjust their budgets and business practices in anticipation of regulatory changes. The ALERT Act directly holds the administration accountable by putting consequences in place for failing to release these important regulatory documents.”