1982 Scorecard Vote

Writing Effective Environmental Regulations
Senate Roll Call Vote 559
Issue: Other

Final passage of the Regulatory Reform Act (S. 1080). We depend on federal agency regulations to implement most of the laws passed by Congress. Environmentalists support genuine reform to make the regulatory process more efficient. But this bill would only have made it more costly and time consuming for agencies to write regulations. Corporate polluters backed the bill because it is in their financial self interest to challenge and delay federal regulations at every level. Public interest groups were united in opposing the bill. Even without this so-called "reform" environmentalists often have trouble getting agencies to move ahead on issuing regulations.

The bill would have tied the hands of agencies like EPA in several ways. It gave sweeping oversight power to the White House Office of Management and Budget, which has no expertise in highly technical environmental regulation and is mainly interested in reducing government spending. It required agencies to prove that the benefits of a major rule would outweigh its costs, even though costs are simple to calculate and benefits such as better health are not easily quantified. It shifted the burden of proof onto the agencies to demonstrate in court that their regulations are necessary, as opposed to the current requirement that challengers prove a rule is unfair. Bill adopted 94-0; March 24, 1982. NO is the pro-environmental vote.

The House Rules Committee blocked a similar bill in the House, and efforts to attach the Senate bill to other House-passed legislation were stymied by objections from Senators Cranston (D-CA), Hart (D-CO), and Metzenbaum (D-OH). Though all three Senators voted for the bill when it passed the Senate in March, they deserve praise for reconsidering their positions and helping to defeat it later in the year.

is the
pro-environment position
Votes For: 94  
Votes Against: 0  
Not Voting: 5  
Pro-environment vote
Anti-environment vote
Missed vote
Not applicable
Senator Party State Vote