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Tell the Senate: Don’t cripple regulators with miles of red tape.

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Petition to the Senate:

"Oppose the Startup Act, which would cripple regulators by tying them up in miles of red tape 'cost-benefit' analyses and prevent them from keeping the American people safe from financial crises, public health risks, and more."

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    Tell the Senate: Don’t cripple regulators with miles of red tape.

    News just broke that at least four Senate Democrats have joined forces with the GOP in an underhanded attack on environmental and financial regulations.1 We need to put a stop to this – and quickly.

    The Chamber of Commerce, polluters, and Wall Street front-groups have long called for hampering regulatory agencies by forcing them to conduct intensive and time-intensive “cost-benefit” analyses that would tie them up in red tape. But now, four Democrats are helping the GOP make it a reality.

    If this bill passes, it could cripple regulators by handing giant gamblers on Wall Street and big corporate polluters a huge win. We can’t let that happen.

    Tell the Senate: Don’t cripple regulators with miles of red tape.

    Democratic Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Chris Coons (D-DE) have joined Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) as sponsors of the Startup Act, which they call legislation to assist startup companies. But while supporting innovative small businesses is a bipartisan idea, crippling the cops-on-the-beat who keep us safe from public health hazards or Wall Street scams certainly shouldn’t be.

    This bill contains a provision that would force regulatory agencies to perform extensive new evaluations of the costs and benefits of any new rules they put in place. Supporters may claim they are simply trying to make government more efficient, but these cost-benefit analyses would be in addition to the extensive economic-impact studies that regulators already perform. Worse, the very nature of regulations make it easy to predict costs but harder to quantify the benefits. In fact, the bill demands that regulators tally up the costs and benefits of all a nearly infinite list of all "potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives to the proposed rule."2

    Tell the Senate: Don’t cripple regulators with miles of red tape.

    We know what it will cost banks to give up on risky deals, but how do regulators calculate the benefits of avoiding a massive financial crash? What is the dollar value of a child who does not have asthma? How do we measure the benefit to our whole economy when working people cannot be scammed into predatory loans?

    The truth is that the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have promoted cost-benefit analyses as a way to paralyze regulators, and the entire strategy is the brainchild of conservative lawyer Eugene Scalia, the son of right-wing Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.3 Democrats simply should not be aiding and abetting Republicans in their war against environmental and financial protections.

    Earlier this month, the House passed a similar but far more severe attack on regulators, which President Obama has promised to veto. If this Senate bill gains bipartisan momentum, it would increase pressure on the president to sign it, and send voters everywhere a signal that both parties work for big special interests.

    Thank you for your activism.

    1. Zach Carter, "Senate Democrats Join GOP Attack On Financial and Environmental Regulation" Huffington Post, January 26, 2015