U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson
Press Release

Johnson Introduces the Guidance Out of Darkness Act

 

By - Mar 9th, 2021 11:00 pm

WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Guidance Out Of Darkness (GOOD) Act, which requires federal agencies to publish their regulatory guidance on the internet in an easily accessible location.

“This commonsense legislation has passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by voice vote twice and passed the House in 2018. I hope that Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer and President Biden will support this non-controversial transparency measure,” said Senator Johnson.

“Why is it so hard to find federal regulations? Creating a single online location for federal regulations increases transparency, saves Oklahoma businesses and state and local leaders time, and is common sense. Oklahomans have the world at our fingertips daily, but for some reason the federal government continues to drag its feet into the 21st century” said Lankford. “I thought this problem was solved when President Donald Trump signed an executive order to require agencies to publish their regulations in a single location, but in the first days of his term, President Biden revoked that executive order. Other than having President Trump’s name on it, I can’t understand why President Biden would not want the federal regulatory process as simple, transparent, and straightforward as possible. I look forward to ending the political back-and-forth,” said Senator Lankford.

“Dysfunction in Washington has led to a rapid expansion of the administrative state. The executive branch has moved toward unilaterally instituting de facto legislation, betraying the intended Constitutional order of the federal government. I’m proud to help introduce this legislation with the hopes that requiring federal agencies to publish and catalogue their regulatory guidance documents will help us better understand the costs of the regulatory state and its threat to both the rule-of-law and our economic growth,” said Senator Cruz.

Background:

  • This bill will increase the transparency of agency regulatory actions for all entities that need to comply—including small businesses, workers, and American households.
  • Experts have often referred to guidance documents as regulatory dark matter, which unlike other regulatory actions, are not required to go through the public notice and comment process.
  •  Senators Johnson, Lankford, and Cruz  have written President Biden questioning his decision to revoke an executive order modeled on the bipartisan GOOD Act and required federal agencies to post such guidance documents in a searchable database.
  • The letter called on President Biden to support the GOOD Act, which has previously passed the House and received support twice from Vice President Kamala Harris when she served in the Senate.

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