Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Which 9 House Democrats Think That Big Business Doesn't Have Enough Say over the Regulatory Process?

The House GOP continued with its deregulatory agenda today by passing the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2015. This bill, like most bills passed out of the Republican Congress, is designed to hobble federal regulators and increase industry power over the regulatory process:
Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act would hamstring rule-making by requiring regulators to adhere to stringent guidelines and submit additional reviews of proposed regulations to the CBO and other government agencies. It also forces regulators to give industries a heads up and solicit feedback when considering any new rules, giving big business an inside track to defeat any measures they don’t like.
The legislation also requires regulators to adopt a new definition of “direct costs” to include metrics such as “forgone business profits, costs passed onto consumers and other entities, and behavioral changes.”
And according to CBO estimates, the bulk of the costs would be shouldered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the bĂȘte noire of Wall Street. 
The bill passed 250 to 173.

9 Democrats joined the House GOP:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

17 Democrats voted for this bill when it was brought up last year. Most of the difference resulted from retirements or defeats, although four Democrats flipped their votes against the bill:

Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Scott Peters (CA-52)

Kurt Schrader (OR-05) flipped his vote to now be in favor of it.

Congress voted on two Democratic amendments.

The first was by Elijah Cummings (MD-07) to strike the section of the bill requiring federal agencies to conduct a retrospective cost-benefit analysis of any regulation at the request of the Chairman or Ranking Member of a Congressional Committee.

It failed 179 to 245.

One Republican--Chris Gibson (NY-19)--joined Democrats in voting for it.

Four Democrats--Ashford, Costa, Peterson, and Sinema--voted against it.

Then Gerry Connolly (VA-11) offered an amendment that would repeal the amendments to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 made by this bill if the average annual rate of real GDP growth remains below 5 percent for the four quarters following its enactment.

That amendment failed 173 to 249. The vote was almost identical to that on the bill itself, with the only difference being Patrick Murphy (FL-18) voting yes and Gwen Graham (FL-02) voting no.

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