Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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Rules Committee Rejects Torres Amendment Protecting Human Trafficking Victims

January 9, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the House Rules Committee rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA) to H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, that would have exempted from burdensome new approval requirements regulations aimed at protecting sexually exploited minors and victims of trafficking.


“My amendment sought to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and I am disappointed the Rules Committee chose to not make it in order,” said Torres.  “Rules that are designed to safeguard the well-being of innocent victims, many of whom are minors, should not be held up by the impossible hurdles H.R. 5 would impose, and these rules should therefore be exempted from this bill.”


The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 is a combination of five bills that passed the House in the 114th Congress that creates burdensome requirements for new regulations issued by the executive branch.  It adds additional regulatory layers to the rulemaking process including requiring additional advanced notices, creating reporting requirements on top of those already mandated, prohibiting courts from taking into consideration agency interpretations of laws or regulations, and barring federal agencies from implementing high impact rules until all related requests for judicial reviews are resolved – essentially creating the opportunity for endless delay tactics.


“The Regulatory Accountability Act adds unnecessary hurdles to the rulemaking process – a process that is already thorough and allows for significant vetting of new rules,” continued Torres.  “It would effectively bring to a halt the approval of all new regulations, even those that are urgently needed.  Victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation don’t have the luxury of time.  Further slowing down rules meant to protect these victims will put lives in danger and cause irreparable harm to these already vulnerable individuals.”


The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 is expected to be debated on the House floor later this week.