WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2017 – The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:

“American Farm Bureau Federation strongly supports the bi-partisan Regulatory Accountability Act introduced today by Senators Portman and Heitkamp. This bipartisan effort is one that should be welcomed by all stakeholders – farmers, ranchers, policymakers, state officials, environmentalists, scientists – anyone who wants a system that is open, transparent, and fair and who recognizes the current system fails to live up to our expectations.

“Reasonable people may disagree about regulatory policies, but we shouldn’t argue about how they are developed. When agencies use economic or scientific data, those facts and figures should be available for everyone to evaluate. When agencies decide on regulatory requirements, they should not make demands or impose costs that go beyond the will of Congress. When the government proposes rules, we should all have ample opportunity to evaluate and comment on the proposals. All too often, this doesn’t happen. Agencies must engage in greater outreach and do so sooner in the process. Increased transparency and disclosure can only help to instill greater confidence in the system. That confidence is too often lacking today.

“We applaud Senators Portman and Heitkamp for their leadership in assuring that agencies cannot ‘tip the scales’ in favor of their own proposals by using social media to advocate for them. This amendment is an important improvement to the Regulatory Accountability Act and we strongly support it.

“Over the past 40 years, presidents of both parties have enunciated principles found in this bill.  The RAA builds on those bipartisan principles. We support this legislative reform and will be working with senators on both sides of the aisle in pressing for its early consideration.”