Washington abounds with concerns that as a result of the Presidential Executive Order on the modernization of centralized regulatory review that the Biden Administration will take steps to reduce the rigor associated with conducting benefit-cost analyses of regulations as presently practiced pursuant to existing guidelines. In the absence of the immediate availability of a substitute measure and prior to the end of a forthcoming public comment period, as stated elsewhere, then under these conditions the Biden Administration is far too sophisticated to take on the entire community of professional economists–not to mention the not so subtle regulatory think tanks and watchdogs as well as the myriad of regulated entities, some of whom have been supportive of many of its initiatives. Of course there is also the need to keep Congress informed, as was the case when the Carter Administration was in the process of arming the Office of Regulatory and Information Policy, the precursor to OIRA, some forty years ago. Therefore it is likely that the Administration will continue to support the existing benefit-cost analyses of regulations, at least for the immediate future.
A number of Trump judicially determined abuses of Executive Branch rulemaking authorities have been struck down without reliance on Chevron. What remains is being addressed by the Biden Administration either through the exercise of its rulemaking authorities or in response to petitions filed pursuant to the Information Quality Act. What’s there not to like about representatives of an elected official acting as the tie breaker in lieu of an unelected individual(s)? Furthermore, with the ever increasing use of holistic decision-making processes and the attendant improvement in the analytical tools used in the Executive Branch it is clear that neither of these are in the long suit of the judiciary.
November 6, 2020 CRE publishes three options for managing the administrative state, # 2 is a proactive role for OIRA.
January 20, 2021 President Biden issues his Modernization Executive Order and directs OMB to report on a possible proactive role for OIRA
January 24, 2021 CRE publishes a Critique of the issues the Biden Administration should address when implementing its regulatory agenda; a proactive role for OIRA is the first one on the list.
“Dr. Shultz’s prodigious inside knowledge of the U.S. government was rivaled by few figures in recent memory, and his soft-spoken, cerebral manner obscured his strong conservative views about the wisdom of keeping spending under control, limiting government regulation and vigorously confronting terrorists,”
Dr. Shultz signed the 1971 Memorandum which initiated centralized regulatory review in Executive Branch Agencies. He passed on February 6, 2021 at 100 years of age. See this detailed account of the enormity of his contribution to the effective management of the administrative state.