Rules and Regulations

Advancing Public Health and the Profession through the Federal Regulatory Process

Through the federal regulatory process, the Academy leverages the expertise of members and various Academy units to substantially influence public policy for the benefit of the public and the profession. Accordingly, the Academy values and depends upon the effective engagement of our members.

Development of Regulations

Flowchart of How Regulations are Developed

Differences Between Legislation and Regulation



Who introduces legislation? Lawmakers
Any senator or congressperson can introduce legislation.
Who introduces regulations? Federal Agencies
A federal agency may draft a regulation after reviewing or finding ambiguity in a law and realizing a clarifying regulation is necessary; regulations must be based in laws already passed.
Who can alter legislation? Congress
Committees in either chamber can alter proposed legislation through the amendment process.
Who can alter a regulation? The Public
The public and interested parties may attempt to change a proposed regulation by submitting comments, which require consideration and response by the agency.
How can legislation be stopped? Stalling/Falling in Congress
Legislation may be stopped in its tracks if it stalls in the committee phase, fails a vote or cloture motion, is vetoed, or is not brought up by the other chamber. 
How can a regulation be stopped? Congress/The Public
A proposed regulation may be stopped in its tracks by strong, nearly unanimous or very influential public comments, or a resolution of disapproval by Congress (which can be vetoed by the president).
When is legislation finalized? Signed by the President or Congress Overrides Veto
The president can sign the bill into law, or congress can override a presidential veto by two-thirds majorities in both chambers.
When is a regulation finalized? Published
A regulation becomes a rule when it is published into the Federal Register after final consideration of comments and adjustments. 
What is the effect of finalized legislation? Law
Finalized legislation has the binding force of law.
What is the effect of finalized regulation? Law
Exactly the same as legislation; a finalized regulation has the binding force of law.