As Iowans we know our word means something. We also know when you put your name on something, you take more time to consider the results and produce a better work product.
When lawmakers introduce legislation, the sponsor lists their name at the top. We do this to make sure there is ownership of an accountability in the process, so the American people know who is responsible for what.
Shouldn’t we expect the same standard of listing authorship on activity by the executive branch of the federal government having a multi-trillion dollar impact on our nation?
Federal rules and regulations have the same force, costs and effect as laws passed by Congress. Over the past several years, federal regulations have directly and indirectly saddled Iowa main street businesses, families, local governments, and the nation’s economy with mandates and compliance costs, costs in lost productivity and hundreds of thousands of jobs. No state, city, business, workplace, residence or consumer is sheltered from federal regulation.
Yet federal agencies continue to release rules and regulations fundamentally changing entire industries while American’s are left knowing very little about who is writing these rules and what qualifications or experience they have. As your representative, I am accountable to you, my bosses – the people of the Third Congressional District – I put my name on every vote and every amendment or bill I introduce or support. Yet, the regulatory community is literally filled with unelected, unaccountable, nameless and faceless bureaucrats whose work can influence and manage our lives.
Just this week, I introduced the Regulatory Fingerprints Act of 2017. This legislation requires federal agencies to publish the name and title of each officer or employee who participated in the rulemaking, and each person performing any work to develop a rule under a contract with a federal agency. It also requires the agency to show its legal authority for making the rule.
This bill not only increases transparency, but also encourages agencies and government workers to better communicate with the people their rules impact. This is about accountability. This is about transparency.This is about what Iowans and all Americans deserve. If a Iowa business owner has to follow the rules and put their name on their work, it’s about time for those in Washington, D.C. to do the same. We need to create a culture of accountability and put a face on the regulations coming out of Washington.
I am proud to associate my name with the bill I introduced. It is time for all federal employees to put their name on the rules and regulations they author. This legislation will hold individuals accountable, not just to their agency bosses, but to their real bosses as well: Hardworking Iowans.
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