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

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

Editor’s Note: CRE brought violations of the Congressional Review Act to the attention of the House and Senate back in January 2010. See our letter here.

From: The Washington Post

By Juliet Eilperin

Over the past two years, the Obama administration has published hundreds and hundreds of rules — on how wheelchairs should be stowed aboard U.S. aircraft, how foreign trade zones should be regulated, how voting assistance should be provided for U.S. citizens overseas, and so on.

There’s a problem, however: Technically speaking, these and some 1,800 other regulations shouldn’t be in effect because they weren’t reported to Congress as required. Yet there is little that lawmakers or the courts can do about it.

Recommendations to DOE on Reducing Regulatory Burden

From: Regulatory Studies Center/George Washington University

By Sofie E. Miller, Senior Policy Analyst

The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center strives 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 response to the Department of Energy’s request for information on reducing regulatory burdens does not represent the views of any particular affected party or special interest, but is designed to enhance and reinforce DOE’s retrospective review efforts.

***

Retrospective Review Comment on SEC’s Proposed Reporting Requirements for Swap Dealers, Participants, and Broker Dealers

From: Regulatory Studies Center/George Washington University

By Mark Bigley, Summer Fellow

The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center strives 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 Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC” or “Commission”) proposed rule establishing recordkeeping and reporting requirements for security-based swap dealers (“SBSDs”), major security-based swap participants (“MSBSPs”), and broker-dealers does not represent the views of any particular affected party or special interest, but is designed to evaluate whether Commission’s proposal incorporates plans for retrospective review, pursuant to Executive Orders 13563 and 13579.

The Funnel of Gov — OMB’s 2014 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations

From: Competitive Enterprise Institiute

Over the weekend the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the 2014 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations.

If it draws attention to it at all, the administration will say it’s fiscal year 2013 rules had benefits of up to $81.4 billion annually, while costing just $2.5 billion annually. The problem is only seven rules out of thousands had benefit and cost analysis.

Agencies Don’t Treat All Comments Equally. Nor Should They.

Editor’s Note: It’s the quality of comments that matters, not the quantity. The study, “Do U.S. Regulators Listen to the Public? Testing the Regulatory Process with the RegRank Algorithm” asserts “that the government adjusts its final rules almost entirely in response to comments from industry insiders.” Unfortunately, the study does not examine the quality of the comments being considered by the agency. A comment which raises a substantive issue, such a violation of a “good government law” that regulates the regulator, needs to be taken in consideration to a far greater extent than a simple cheer or boo for a proposed regulation—no matter how heartfelt.