Publication Date



The Senate’s Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA)
seeks to substantially amend the Administrative
Procedure Act, the law governing federal agency
processes. The bill’s sponsors argue, in part, that the
RAA would improve administrative transparency and
accountability. One of the least-discussed provisions,
§ 3(c)(6), “Prohibition on Certain Communications,”
would prohibit agencies from advocating for or against
a proposed regulation during the comment period, an
indispensable component of notice-and-comment
rulemaking that affords the public a voice in the
rulemaking process. This Note recommends that
agencies should be able to exhibit their preferences at all
stages of rulemaking, because, as policymakers, agencies
should inform the public of their goals, purposes, and
methods, as well as defend their reasoning in the face of
the potentially dominating narratives of regulated
industries. If left uncensored, agencies could also use the
Internet to mitigate some of the public participation
costs of commenting and increase public participation in
the rulemaking process. This Note suggests that § 3(c)(6)
runs counter to the RAA’s broad justifications of
increasing administrative transparency and