Tax reform efforts might be dominating the headlines out of Congress this week, but there’s other important work being done on Capitol Hill. Namely, the House passed the long-awaited “sue and settle” reform bill.

As reported by DWM recently, “sue and settle” practices were frequently used by regulatory bodies like the EPA to quicken normal regulatory procedures. “Under ‘sue and settle,’ regulatory agencies and groups that filed a legal challenge against them reach an agreement on the terms of a consent decree or settlement before the public can review it,” DWM explains.

Most notably, the process was used to remove the opt-out provision of the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule, which has hampered our industry ever since. The new bill would necessitate terms of the settlement be published in the Federal Register for public review before being finalized, allowing for greater participation from industry in the process.

I see this as good news. The View from Here is that under the current process, it’s too easy for special interests to file legal challenges and negotiate behind closed doors without public comment—a necessary means of participation for all parties in the regulatory process.

Additionally, the bill’s passage is a great example of legislators listening to industry and responding positively. The bill was heartily supported by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), backed with good reason and solid evidence.

We’ll keep an eye on things as the bill heads to the Senate. What’s your View? Email me directly at Eric.Jackson@Quanex.com.

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