Requiring Formal Rulemaking Is a Thinly Veiled Attempt to Halt Regulation

From: The Regulatory Review

Professor Kent Barnett recently opined in The Regulatory Review that formal rulemaking really is not that bad and may actually be a good thing in certain circumstances. His argument deserves closer review because the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would require the equivalent of formal rulemaking—or what the bill calls a “public hearing.” Barnett may well be right to suggest that in some situations the costs of formal rulemaking could be justified, but he could not be more wrong to argue that the circumstances that would trigger formal rulemaking under the RAA are among those situations.

Environmental NGOs Walking Timidly Up to the DQA Confessional

From: Bloomberg/Bureau of National Affairs

Scorned Law May Be Environmentalists’ Tool to Protect EPA Data

By Rachel Leven


Progressives have dismissed the Data Quality Act as a tool for industry groups to poke holes in information in government reports and reviews. But now the father of the law says environmentalists are quietly approaching him about the possibility of turning the law on a White House that has taken down information from the Environmental Protection Agency website, including a climate science page that stated, “It is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of the warming.”

Patience is still a virtue in the regulatory process

Editor’s Note: See, Regulatory Deossification Revisited.

From: Washington Examiner

by Jerry Ellig & Andrew M. Baxter


Like rumors of Mark Twain’s death, tales of a decades-long regulatory slowdown have been greatly exaggerated. And for the important regulations, investing some extra time is exactly what we should be doing to make sure we get the decisions right.

The Regulatory Accountability Act, Or: How Progressives Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cost-Benefit Analysis

Editor’s Note: A simple route to ensuring both cost-benefit analysis and accountability for the results is by establishing a regulatory budget.

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

by Jonathan Masur

GAO: OMB Should Address Data Quality Challenges Ahead of Federal Spending Report Deadline

Editor’s Note: See, Federal Data Crisis: Unreliable Federal Databases are Destroying Opportunities for Small Businesses.

From: ExecutiveGov

The government watchdog added that the Office of Management and Budget should give agencies additional guidance to address data quality issues.


GAO also identified concerns regarding data quality assurance processes, which OMB plans to address by finalizing the assurance process ahead of the deadline.

Read Complete Article


The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future

Editor’s Note: Regulatory reform is an important path to fiscal reform, see here.

From: US General Accountability Office

The Comptroller General testified before Congress about the federal government’s unsustainable long-term fiscal outlook—the growing imbalance between revenues (money collected) and spending (driven by health care, Social Security, and net interest on the debt).

A plan is needed to put the nation on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. But in the near-term, Congress and executive branch agencies have opportunities to improve the government’s fiscal condition, including trying to address improper payments and the tax gap, as well as making changes where federal programs or activities are at high risk or fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative.

Administrative Procedure Act Reform and McNollgast

Editor’s Note: Stakeholders considering changes to the Administrative Procedure Act should study its past and its purpose.

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

In Bipartisan Reform of the APA, Is There “Fertile Ground Here to Actually Get Something Done”?

by Adam White

As Chris noted last night, Senators Portman and Heitkamp introduced legislation to significantly reform and modernize the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. There is much to be written about this version of the “Regulatory AccountabilityAct,” including its provision for replacing Auer deference with a Skidmore

Regulatory Reform in the 114th and 115th Congresses

Editor’s Note:  A must read article on the regulatory budget. The author states:

Finally, it bears noting that, while many of the bills discussed in this paper would be a welcome down payment on comprehensive reform, none by themselves will be sufficient to curb the growth of the regulatory state.”

An accurate point but the regulatory budget  is the only mechanism which places a ceiling on the size of the regulatory states. Also see

A Website Dedicated to the Implementation of a Regulatory Budget.



My Latest: Sticky Regulations (A Benefit of Ossification?)

From: Notice & Comment

by Aaron Nielson

I’m pleased to announce that my latest article, Sticky Regulations, has been posted to SSRN. It will be published next year in The University of Chicago Law Review. If you are interested, I’m going to present it on April 21st at the Rethinking Due Process Public Policy Conference hosted by the Center for the Study of the Administrative State. This is still a very (very) early draft; I appreciate thoughts.

Regulatory Review & Policy Change

Editor’s Note: For an extensive set of regulatory review teaching resources, see the OIRA Teaching Modules.

From: Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison


One of the key components of these projects is bringing faculty members’ research directly to state and national policymakers as well the general public,” said La Follette School Board of Visitors member Chuck Pruitt, who served on the selection committee. “Funding also benefits students, who will work alongside these highly talented scholars as project assistants.”

The funded projects and lead faculty members are: