H.R. 712: “Sunshine and Regulatory Decrees and Settlment Act of 2015”

By at 4 January, 2016, 8:54 pm

UPDATE: On January 12, 2016 the House passed H.R. 712 by a vote of 244-173.


The Honorable Doug Collins

1504 Longworth Building

Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative Collins:

On behalf of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and its 100,000 members, I am writing to express our strong support for H.R. 712, the “Sunshine and Regulatory Decrees and Settlement Act of 2015.” SBE Council is grateful for your ongoing leadership in calling attention to and working to fix the sue-and-settle game played by special interests groups and federal government agencies. H.R. 712 is an important solution that will lift the veil on a process that is unjust and hurts small businesses.

Americans feel disconnected from a regulatory process that does not consider their views or the real world impact of regulation. A recent survey conducted by our Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS) found that 72% of Americans believe regulations are “created in a closed, secretive process,” with 68% saying that federal rules are created by “out-of-touch” people pushing a political agenda. As is the case with “sue-and-settle,” special interest groups conspire with federal agencies and file lawsuits against them alleging that an action has been unlawfully delayed or unreasonably withheld. In many cases, the outcome of these legal actions – the “settle” – is excessive and unreasonable regulation.

Small business owners and their employees are hardest hit by these burdensome federal regulations, which, again, are the end product of a closed, one-sided process. In a report published by CRS, we document egregious “sue-and-settle” cases and their costly outcomes. It is unconscionable that federal agencies act in secret with the very special interests that favor giving them more power.

H.R. 712 would require federal agencies to publish and give notice of these actions, and provide the public with more rights in reviewing, participating in and commenting on them. As such, H.R. 712 provides the openness, fairness and access to the federal regulatory process that it currently lacks.

SBE Council is again pleased to support you and your colleagues in your efforts to advance this reform into law. Thank you for your leadership, and support of small business owners and entrepreneurs.


Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO

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