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Rounding out a week of anti-regulatory action, the House today passed the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2013, a bill designed to increase corporate influence over federal regulations:

The bill, H.R. 899, would expand on the 1995 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), which was meant to stop the government from passing laws and issuing rules that foisted huge costs on the states and the private sector. It would also ensure all federal agencies are covered by the law, and force agencies to ensure that the lowest-cost rules are adopted.

The legislation requires agencies to include in regulatory costs the expected forgone profits of companies, costs passed on to consumers, and even costs related to behavioral changes caused by the rule. Additionally, it would require agencies to consult with private sector before issuing rules, and let courts block rules that aren't developed transparently.

Rep. Lacy Clay (MO-01) described its intent well:
"It would shackle key federal agencies, like OSHA, the FCC, the Mine Safety Administration and the CFPB," Clay said.

"This bill is not a job creator. It is a gift-wrapped offering to special interest lobbyists who advocate for no new rules, no regulations and no consequences for their clients, regardless of how much damage they cause."

It passed 234 to 176.

17 Democrats joined the Republican caucus:

Ron Barber (AZ-02)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Bill Owens (NY-23)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Elijah Cummings (MD-07) offered an amendment striking language requiring independent agencies to comply with UMRA.

It failed 185 to 224.

7 Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against it:

Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Bill Owens (NY-23)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Gerry Connolly (VA-11) offered an amendment requiring agencies to consult with public interest groups and others, along with the private sector, while considering rules.

It failed 194 to 216.

3 Republicans voted for it: Chris Gibson (NY-19), Walter Jones (NC-03), and John Shimkus (IL-15).

1 Democrat voted against it: Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) offered an amendment excluding rules from the law's requirements if a cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that the benefits of the regulatory action exceed its costs.

1 Republican voted for it: Chris Gibson (NY-19).

15 Democrats voted against it:

Ron Barber (AZ-02)
John Barrow (GA-12)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Bill Owens (NY-23)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

The bill is not likely to be brought up in the Senate, and the White House has already expressed its intent to veto it, noting that it would overburden the regulatory process.

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