Burnishing His Legacy, President Obama Is Focused on Making Rule Review Permanent

From: BNA/Daily Report for Executives

By Cheryl Bolen

President Barack Obama, with an eye toward his legacy, is personally engaged in a new initiative to move federal agencies into the next phase of reviewing their regulations—the results are expected in late summer—and potentially will make the changes permanent.

First announced in 2011, retrospective review had some early successes, but has slowed as cash-strapped agencies have struggled to both review existing rules and promulgate new ones, including the required public comment, cost estimates and impact analyses.

Incorporating Private Standards into Public Regulations

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Every year, federal administrative agencies in the United States create thousands of new regulations, producing new rules governing public health, homeland security, consumer protection, and civil rights, among other vital issues. Central to the process of creating these administrative rules is a requirement for public notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, debate has recently emerged over agencies’ practice of “incorporation by reference” – that is, a reliance on privately-created standards in crafting public rules – which some have argued conflicts with values of transparency and public participation.


The First Watchdog in Chief, John R. McCarl

From: US General Accountability Office | WatchBlog

McCarl retired at the end of his 15-year term on June 30, 1936. On the occasion, the Saturday Evening Post praised McCarl for being a “no-man” on excessive public spending. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also praised him for this trait: “Among the welter of Washington’s yes-men, he was a forthright, solitary and heartening no-man.”


Comments For ACUS Urge Process For Continuous Reg Review

Editor’s Note: See Jim Tozzi’s retrospective review comments to ACUS, here.

From: Inside OSHA

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) should issue recommendations encouraging the government to set out a process for continuous retrospective review of rules, according to comments submitted by Jim Tozzi, former regulatory czar in . . .

Read Complete Article (paywall)

New study finds federal regulation costs over $2 trillion per year and disproportionately affects small businesses

From: Regulatory Studies Center/George Washington University

by Susan E. Dudley

The costs of regulation, both individually and in the aggregate, are notoriously hard to measure. Unlike the direct costs of government programs, which are tracked through the fiscal budget, there is no mechanism for keeping track of the off-budget costs imposed by regulation. Thus, to get a clearer picture of the impact of regulations, it is important to examine those impacts through different lenses using different measurement tools, even though none of those approaches is perfect. 

Comment on OMB’s Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulation

From: Regulatory Studies Center/George Washington University

By Susan E. Dudley, Brian F. Mannix, & Sofie E. Miller

Download the comment

The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center works to improve regulatory policy through research, education, and outreach. As part of its mission, the Center conducts careful and independent analyses to assess rulemaking proposals from the perspective of the public interest. This comment on the Office of Management and Budget’s Draft 2014 Report to Congress offers suggestions for improving the information value of the Report, and does not represent the views of any particular affected party or special interest.

OMB 2014 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Entities

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

James Broughel

Dear Administrator Shelanski,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Draft 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Entities. This annual report offers an important glimpse into a regulatory system that has profound effects on the well-being and opportunities of the American people. It is important that the costs and benefits of the US regulatory system are transparent and that progress is made each year toward improving our regulatory system such that it achieves important societal goals at a reasonable cost.

GAO faults cost analyses for EPA regulations

Editor’s Note: The complete GAO report, “Environmental Regulation: EPA Should Improve Adherence to Guidance for Selected Elements of Regulatory Impact Analyses,” GAO-14-519: Published: Jul 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2014 is available here. GAO explains in the report that “OMB guidance states that RIAs should enable a third party to understand how the agency arrived at its estimates and conclusions…. However, in the Lead Opt-Out RIA, EPA neither included nor made readily apparent the support for certain benefit estimates in the RIA document, nor did it clearly explain in the RIA the rationale for the regulatory option it chose. Further, in the CISWI RIA, EPA…did not explain the rationale for selecting an alternative that did not yield the greatest net benefits.”

CUNA urges NCUA to reduce credit unions regulatory burden

From: CU Insight

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) submitted comments to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regarding the Office of General Counsel’s list of regulations scheduled for review this year. Additionally, CUNA pushed for reducing the creeping complexity of credit union regulatory burden by: 1) urging NCUA to go beyond clarifications and reduce regulatory requirements substantially to provide meaningful regulatory relief for credit unions; and 2) urging NCUA to add new or expand existing rules only if required to do so by law, or doing so is clearly warranted based on a compelling safety and soundness reason that can be satisfactorily addressed in no other manner.

Study: Hundreds of rules passed by Obama administration are technically illegal

Editor’s Note: Curtis W. Copeland’s July 2014 study, “Congressional Review Act: Many Recent Final Rules Were Not Submitted to GAO and Congress,” is attached here. CRE’s January 2010 letter to the Senate and House advising them of EPA’s violations of the Congressional Rview Act is attached here. A December 2009 Copeland/Congressional Research Service study, “Congressional Review Act: Rules Not Submitted to GAO and Congress,” attached here, was cited by CRE in our advisory letter.

From: The Washington Post

By Juliet Eilperin