Do My Comments Really Matter? Demystifying the Public Comment Process

Executive Summary

In a new issue brief, Managing Attorney of the D.C. Office Mara Youdelman discusses the importance of public comments in shaping policy and explains the process for submitting comments and how they impact implementation of federal regulations.

Each time a federal agency wants to adopt or change regulations, it has to ask the public for input, as required by federal law. A federal agency writes its proposed regulations and then asks for public comments. The agency has to consider whether it should make any changes to its proposal based on the comments before finalizing the regulation. Whether an agency is proposing new regulations or changing older ones, it has to give the public a change to weigh in.

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