ABA urges Senate to act on ALERT legislation

The American Bar Association sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders expressing support for key regulatory reform provisions in Title II of H.R. 712, known as the “All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act” (ALERT Act), which are consistent with newly adopted ABA policy. The legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives in January, would increase transparency in the regulatory process, improve the usefulness of the Unified Agenda and provide benefits to the public.

The Unified Regulatory Agenda is an integral part of the federal regulatory process that enables regulated parties, consumers, workers and other interested persons to understand and prepare for new rules that are planned or are under development. In the past, the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice has expressed concern when the federal government was not meeting its obligation to publish the semiannual Unified Regulatory Agenda in a timely manner. This past February, the ABA went further and called upon Congress to ensure that the Regulatory Agenda is updated continuously and otherwise enhanced when its House of Delegates adopted Resolution 106B. In that resolution, the ABA urged Congress to modernize the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act in a number of specific ways.
There are major reforms contained in the ALERT Act that are consistent with the key recommendations in ABA Resolution 106B, and these ABA recommendations bear directly on several (but not all) aspects of the overall bill.  These proposed reforms endorsed by the ABA are also consistent with other similar reforms recently recommended by the Administrative Conference of the United States.