November, 1982 Home   Newsletters

December, 1982

January 1983

Luncheon General Meeting
President's Message (Arlene Woo)
Return Engagement: "Slowly Dying Embers"
January General Meeting
Evelyn Bender Joins Board as Publications Chair
Honolulu Concurs
Introduction to League for New Legislators
New Roster Coming Soon!
Join the Council observer Corps
League in Action
Publications and Reports
News Bits
Announcements - National Security Committee
Vote Count News
Membership Update
Calendar
Report from the Hill - Regulatory Reform, Mass Transit

NEWS from

Report from the Hill

Report from the Hill is a publication of LWVUS Legislative Action Department which sells for $1.75 a copy or $10.50 per Congressional session. It is designed to keep local leagues informed of legislative action on topics of interest to League and of League's activities supporting or opposing different legislations.

REGULATORY REFORM

As all Leagues know, what has been put forth during this Congress as regulatory reform is not the kind of reform groups concerned with public health and safety, environmental protection, civil rights protection, and citizen participation in policy development would want. Rather, the "reform" proposals in the 97th Congress started from an anti-regulatory bias and have tended toward making the process of regulation more difficult. The latest version of reform, unveiled shortly before Congress recessed for the election, continues in this vein.

Throughout the late summer and fall, representatives of House Speaker O'Neill met in private with representatives of the Business Roundtable to negotiate a compromise on HR 746, the bill reported by the House Judiciary Committee. (See April/May 1982 R/H for a detailed discussion of HR 746) These negotiations were initiated, purportedly, because of the extreme opposition voiced against HR 746 by a number of powerful committee chairs and civil rights, environmental, labor, consumer, and public interest groups. While the negotiations were a good faith effort on the Speaker's part to reach a more palatable approach to the reform, the negotiations process nevertheless excluded any representatives from groups other than business, and the product is as unpalatable to us as was the bill reported by Committee.

The League opposes the compromise HR 746. It would add a myriad of new procedures on regulatory agencies, would require strict cost benefit analysis of new and existing rules, would virtually exclude the public from agency decision-making and would give the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) unprecedented authority to determine not only the content of rules, but whether or not rulemaking could 4 proceed. We believe this expanded power of OMB could seriously threaten the very substantive statutory basis of our regulatory system.

It is very likely that the House Leadership will seek to get HR 746 with the compromise amendments on the House floor during the lame duck session. The President is urging action on the bill.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Immediately contact the House leadership, members of the House Rules Committee and all members of the House and urge that HR 746 not be considered during these closing days of the 97th Congress. Use the arguments above in opposing HR 746.

MASS TRANSIT

Recognizing the need to maintain the nation's transportation network, the House passed an $11.2 billion FY 1983 appropriations bill for the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Sept. 21, Despite warnings that the Administration might veto the bill, the House plan provides $802.5 million morre than the Administration had originally requested for DOT.

The largest share of the money in the House bill will go for highway construction and mass transit programs. Specifically, the bill contains $8 billion for FY 1983 highway construction and related programs. And, for urban mass

transit programs there is an appropriation of $3.6 billion, including $1.6 billion for discretionary grants to be used for bus and rail purchases, and $1.3 billion for formula grants for both operating and capital subsidies,

Since the House and Senate are relatively close on the amount of money they wish to spend on transportation, it is likely that the DOT appropriations bill will be voted on in the Senate during the lame duck session of Congress. Then, a brief conference will be held to iron out the differences in the two bills.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please contact all members of the Senate and urge them to vote in favor of the DOT Appropriations bill when it is considered on the Senate floor. Then, contact members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees (likely conferees) and tell them we support the House figures for mass transit programs when the bill goes to conference,

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