Sen. Johnson Introduces the Guidance Out of Darkness Act

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) led 14 of his Republican colleagues in reintroducing the Guidance Out of Darkness (GOOD) Act, which requires federal agencies to publish their regulatory guidance on the internet in an easily accessible location. This bill will enhance the transparency of guidance documents issued by government agencies, helping all entities — including small businesses, workers and households — to comply with regulations.

The GOOD Act passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by voice vote twice and passed the House in 2018. Sen. Johnson previously introduced the legislation in 2018 and 2021.

“As an advocate for transparency and accountability in government, I am proud to reintroduce the Guidance Out of Darkness Act. This bill reduces the regulatory burden placed on small businesses, workers and households by holding federal agencies accountable,” said Sen. Johnson. “Increasing transparency and simplifying the regulatory process will further economic growth for all Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this bill and provide the American people with the transparency they deserve.”

“Transparency in government is crucial. That is why I am proud to join Senator Ron Johnson in sponsoring the GOOD Act. People deserve to know just what government agencies are up to, especially when it comes to their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Sen. Rick Scott. “This bill will bring commonsense reform and shed light on how the government operates—which is something we should all support.”

“People in Wyoming deserve transparency from the federal government, which is why I’m joining my colleague Senator Ron Johnson in introducing the Guidance Out of Darkness Act,” said Sen. Lummis. “This bill would require federal agencies to post regulations and guidance to the agency website making it easy for small businesses, workers and the people of Wyoming to know about the federal regulations that impact their daily lives.”

“Unlike other regulatory actions, agency guidance documents are not required to undergo the public notice and comment process. James Madison warned that our laws would be of little use if they can 'be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow,’” said Sen. Lee. “I'm proud to cosponsor Sen. Johnson's legislation to reduce the regulatory burden placed on small businesses, workers, and American households and increase transparency for all the entities needed to comply."

“Washington bureaucrats should not be able to hide what they are doing from the American people. Our bill is straightforward and enacts a long overdue standard: federal agencies will be required to publish all regulatory guidance. This will ensure accountability and transparency for the American taxpayer,” said Sen. Cramer.

“Shedding light on regulatory guidance from federal agencies is good government,” said Sen. Blackburn. “Too often, the federal government pushes burdensome rules onto small business owners, farmers, law enforcement, medical professionals, educators, and families. But ironically, accessing that guidance can be nearly impossible. This legislation would ensure regulatory guidance is housed on the Internet in a central location, giving the American people the transparency and accessibility they deserve.”

“Sunshine week is the perfect time to continue my work to shine a light on the federal bureaucracy, which often operates in the shadows,” said Sen. Ernst. “The American public should not be forced to hunt and dig for clarity on government regulations. The GOOD Act rights this wrong by requiring federal agencies to publish regulatory guidance in an easily accessible, online location.”

“Sunlight is often the best disinfectant, and that’s exactly what the Biden Administration’s runaway red tape regime needs,” said Sen. Britt. “Unelected federal bureaucrats should not be taking actions that affect hardworking Americans’ lives without robust transparency and the opportunity to hold them publicly accountable. This is a commonsense measure that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle should support.”

Sen. Johnson is joined on the legislation by Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

The full text of the bill can be found here.