Notice and comment rulemaking is the “backbone of responsible regulation” 


“Notice and comment rulemaking is the backbone of responsible regulation,” wrote America’s Credit Unions’ Amanda Smith in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget Friday. “As industry grew more complex in the early 20th century, so did its oversight. The government’s answer to this burgeoning complexity was to defer regulation to the federal agencies and the executive branch grew in size and power.” 

The letter came in response to OMB’s request for information (RFI) as it aims “to develop a government-wide framework, common guidelines, and leading practices for public participation and community engagement.” 

In her letter, Smith noted that the public is “eager to participate” in notice and comment rulemaking when they are provided with sufficient information and submission procedures, calling on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality proposal that received over 45,000 comments as evidence. However, she added that comment requests sometimes appear to be formalities.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) recently noticed a rule restricting the amount of overdraft fees for financial institutions over a certain threshold,” Smith wrote. “Concurrently, the President of the United States announced that overdraft fees would be eliminated. It is difficult to believe that any public comment could be persuasive enough to neutralize the President’s directive.” 

Smith also highlighted the importance of Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panels. She noted that the CFPB has failed to properly convene them for various rulemakings. Additionally, she called attention to the bureau’s regulation by guidance instead of notice and comment rulemaking. 

America’s Credit Unions will continue to fight for credit union priorities and ensure the industry’s voice is heard in Washington. 

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