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Agency Review Bill Gets White House Pushback

The White House came out strongly against H.R. 3438, the Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists (REVIEW) Act of 2016, joined by public interest group Public Knowledge.

The House bill, backed by Republicans, would prevent a "high-impact" agency rule—like potentially the FCC's Open Internet order—from being enacted until all avenues for legal challenge were exhausted or, if no legal challenges were filed, until a set amount of time had passed.

The bill, which was proposed by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and has 32 cosponsors, would define high impact as any bill that would have an annual economic cost of "not less than" one billion dollars.

In its official "statement of administration policy" on the bill, the White House threatens a veto, saying the bill will "promote unwanted litigation, introduce harmful delay, and, in many cases, thwart implementation of statutory mandates and execution of duly enacted laws."

The idea is that opponents of “high-impact” rules could delay implementation for years, perhaps, by taking them all the way to the Supreme Court.

Public Knowledge agrees:

“If enacted, The REVIEW Act would undermine Congress’ intent for expert agencies to do their jobs, negate years of work by expert federal agencies, and waste billions in taxpayer resources by likely requiring that agency efforts to protect consumers and promote competition be delayed for years," said Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel at Public Knowledge.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.