Resurrecting a Relic of the Past: The Harvard Law Review on the Congressional Review Act

Editor’s Note: Former Senator Nickels and former Congressman McIntosh were instrumental in the establishment of CRE a number of years prior the first successful use of the CRA.

 Harvard Law Review article of the past summarizes in a very concise manner the merits of the Congressional Review Act:

The CRA provides that when a disapproval resolution is sent from the Senate to the House, or vice versa, the receiving chamber cannot refer the resolution to a committee.

Second, the CRA prohibits filibusters of disapproval resolutions in the Senate, setting time limits for debate and eliminating many procedural hurdles.

Two Leisure’s in the Administrative State

Notwithstanding the ever growing number of regulations in the Administrative state you know  you have  arrived when you no longer have to:

(1) use a smartphone

(2) ride  Uber

Education– Not Legislation as a Path to Regulatory Reform

Centralized Regulatory Review has been around for a half century. In that space of time the concept of centralized regulatory review has emerged from an extralegal innovation of the Presidency to a necessary tool for governance of the administrative state with a bipartisan base of support.

What is the relationship between centralized regulatory review and pending legislation for regulatory reform? In large part the proponents of regulatory reform conclude that centralized regulatory review, while making a contribution, is not living up to their expectations.

What is an IPD?

A  Mechanism for Communicating With Administration Officials Subsequent to the Close of the Public Comment Period

An IPD is an Interactive Public Docket.. The purpose of an IPD is to break the government’s monopoly over what is contained in a regulatory docket.

More specifically, the docket for a regulatory proceeding and access to it by the public is very limited. Presently the regulators are the sole determinant of what papers used in the pre-Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) stage goes into the docket; the regulators are also the sole determinant of what papers go into the docket subsequent to the close of the public comment period. The public can only affect the content of the docket in a limited time period of say, 60 to 90 days, out of a period of one or more years need to complete a rulemaking.

Data Mining the Literature on OIRA’s History


The Future of Regulatory Oversight and Analysis

 “ OIRA  currently operates under President Clinton’s 1993 Executive Order (EO) 12866, which requires centralized, coordinated review of regulations, and states that agencies should “adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs.”



OIRA’s Formative Years: The Historical Record of Centralized Regulatory Review Preceding OIRA’s Founding

OIRA’s Lineage and Enforcement Responsibilities 

Editor’s Note:  This post presented on  Yale-ABA Notice and Comment

Professor Andrew Rudalevige of Bowdoin College has written two articles on the creation of OIRA. One just published in the 2018 Winter Edition of National Affairs (Rudalevige # 2) and the other an earlier and more detailed presentation published by the Midwest Political Science Association.

Professor Rudalevige concludes:

“Presidential authority is a key starting point for managing the executive branch. But as OIRA’s history should make clear, it is not the only important factor. Regulatory review did not instantly spring into being when Reagan signed his executive order; it came about only after more than a decade of effort prior to the Reagan administration, and it developed only because Reagan and his team invested in its maturation.

Vanity Abounds in the Absence of P & L Responsibilities

Editor’s Note: CRE in its role as a regulatory watchdog is in near daily contact with federal regulators. In this capacity we learn of their observations and concerns  and on occasion share them with our readers.


In the pursuit of balanced regulation federal regulators are exposed to a wide range of personal traits in those being regulated.  However many agree that vanity abounds in the presence of those employees who are free from  P & L responsibilities or P & L concerns.

N. B. Herman Melville: “I have come to regard this matter of Fame as the most transparent of all vanities”.

EPA’s 2011 Inspector General Report on Greenhouse Gases: The Gift that Keeps Giving

CRE believes that there is no report on the use of the Data Quality Act that exceeds the analytical strength of the one prepared by EPA’s Inspector General titled: “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes” in 2011.

The EPA IG report is now central to a defense for a possible forthcoming revised statement of EPA’s position on this matter.

The report is encyclopedic in terms of its detailed explanation of the DQA and is somewhat unique in that it lays out a game plan for invoking the HISA (Highly Influential Scientific Assessment) paradigm for fulfilling the peer review requirements of the Act.

Contributions: Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Over the past half century CRE personnel have been instrumental in the construction of, or  participation in, the following landmarks within the Administrative state and its work as been recognized by credentialed third parties:


The Three Game-changing Documents of the Administrative State

                                        N. B.  One Half Century of Centralized  Regulatory Review.


Administrative Procedure Act (1946)



(Instituting the Quality of Life Review)


Executive Order 12291 (1981) Federal Regulation   (Reagan)