Patricia Wald’s Great Legacy

Editor’s Note: See also Proper and Desirable Intervention by the President in Agency Rulemaking.

From: Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by Jeffrey Lubbers


As to the ex parte communications, in a key passage, Judge Wald, after ruling that the EPA had met its obligations to defend its rule based on the public rulemaking record, defended presidential involvement in rulemaking as desirable. She wrote:

What does $33 billion in regulatory cost savings really mean?

From: Brookings

Connor Raso

The Trump administration recently issued a report and supporting materials summarizing its regulatory cost cutting efforts.  The report, authored by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), claimed total regulatory cost savings of $23 billion in Fiscal Year 2018.  This is a notable increase from the $8.1 billion in savings claimed in the prior year.  Moreover, the 2018 deregulatory items were on the whole more substantive than the 2017 list, which was bolstered deregulatory actions already taken by Congress, initiatives largely formulated in the Obama administration, routine periodic update rules, and rules required by statute (a more complete accounting is available from a prior piece in this Brookings series).

The Courts’ Take On Obama-Era Regs: You Are Erased

From: Law360/SSRN

By Andrew Oringer and Samuel Scarritt-Selman



One may wonder whether there are lessons in the cases described above for future
policymakers, as the ability of regulatory efforts to withstand judicial scrutiny is clearly not to
be taken for granted. Will it be harmful to a regulation to acknowledge going beyond clear
congressional intent? Will expressions of desire to effect policy change place a regulatory
effort in additional jeopardy? These and other similar questions may be considered with
increasing focus as regulators pursue policy-driven regulatory efforts.

Make Benefit-Cost Analysis Meaningful

From: The Regulatory Review

Regulatory benefit-cost analysis should account for people’s welfare, not just empirical data.


In more recent years, there is another area where theory has taken a backseat to empirical measurement: namely, the theory behind benefit-cost analysis (BCA). BCA intends to predict how regulations and other public policies impact society for better or worse. Conspicuously missing from BCA, however, is the necessary theory connecting whatever BCA is measuring to the well-being of actual people.


Legislative Impact Accounting: Incorporating Prospective and Retrospective Review into a Regulatory Budget

From: Public Budgeting & Finance | Volume 38, Issue 2 | Summer 2018

Jason J. Fichtner, Patrick A. Mclaughlin, Adam N. Michel


Congressional decision‐making suffers from scarce information about the scope and economic consequences of legislative actions. This paper proposes a better method to overcome congressional information scarcity. Our proposal relies on the premise that regulations have similar economic effects as taxes and spending, and therefore should be scored and tracked as part of the budget process. Our proposed system of legislative impact accounting (LIA) builds on the concept of a regulatory budget by developing a system for both prospective and retrospective review to create an effective feedback loop to better communicate information about economic effects of regulations to Congress.

The Office of Management and Budget: The Quarterback of Evidence-Based Policy in the Federal Government

From: The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Volume: 678 issue: 1, page(s): 112-123

NRC Rules Would Benefit from OIRA Review

Editor’s Note: See also Expanding the Scope of OIRA Review and A Blueprint for OMB Review of Independent Agency Regulations (March 1, 2002).

From: American Action Forum

Dan Bosch, Dan Goldbeck, Philip Rossetti


  • The Trump Administration is considering expanding the White House’s review of regulations to include reviewing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) rules.
  • The NRC is a good candidate for review because its incentive to regulate is misaligned with the safety risks of newer technologies.
  • The benefits of expanding regulatory review to the NRC markedly outweigh the costs.


HHS Entries in OIRA’s Latest Regulatory Reform Report

From: Regulatory Studies Center | GW Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

By Bridget C.E. Dooling

Cutting red tape in the Medicare program delivers cost savings while other deregulatory efforts fall short

Download the Regulatory Insight (PDF)


Executive Order 13771 imposed new constraints on executive branch regulatory agencies, directing them to cut two rules for any new rule issued and to offset any costs imposed by new rules. The Regulatory Reform Report for fiscal year (FY) 2018, issued last month by the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), provides an update on agency actions over the course of the year. It shows a present value estimate of $23.4 billion in “overall regulatory costs” saved.

The CRA Spring Gun May Soon Fire its First Shot

From: Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by Bridget C.E. Dooling

Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that may turn out to be the first opportunity to test the Congressional Review Act (CRA) post-disapproval restriction on rulemaking.

Time for a regulatory budget

Editor’s Note:  See also A Website Dedicated to the Implementation of a Regulatory Budget.

From: The Hill


A budget would help address regulations’ two major issues: The obvious, affordability, and the overlooked, accountability.

America’s private sector bears the cost of regulation.  Regardless of good intention, costs mount. Regulations have been aptly called an invisible tax.  As with taxes, while often justified by some programs deemed worthwhile, they still subtract from private individuals’ means.  The private sector — individuals and businesses — can do less than they would otherwise — save, invest, and spend.