Focus on OIRA

Bruce Levinson, Editor
April 25  Remarks by President Trump at Signing of Financial Services Executive Orders

April 24  Trump to sign executive orders on drilling, cybersecurity and a rural America task force

April 21  Trump’s OIRA-Nominee Has Questioned Foundations Of Administrative State

April 20  Trump administration receives 168 comments on ways to cut regulations

April 19  Interview with Steven Mnuchin: Transcript

April 18  D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Notice & Comment Blogger to OIRA Administrator

April 17  White House orders spring cleaning at federal agencies

Trump Regulation: A Library of Trump Regulatory Initiatives

CRE has maintained a library of the regulatory initiatives of every Administration for which centralized regulatory review was either under development or in actual operation. The initiatives are posted on the website TheOMB.US maintained by the Center for  Regulatory Effectiveness.

The posts on the Trump Regulation webpage will chronicle the official documents disseminated by the Trump Administration; Focus on OIRA will contain the accompanying commentary on the documents.




04/21/2017  Presidential Executive Order on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens

04/05/2017  Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Memorandum: M-17-21, Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”

Two Different Views on the Preferred Background for an OIRA Administrator

Editor’s Note: The views set forth below undoubtedly reflect the probable positions of the majority of the members who oversee the confirmation of the Administrator of OIRA. Notwithstanding the merits of the arguments presented therein we believe the social entrepreneurial skills of a nominee out rank all other considerations.  Recognizing that if one is to be successful in the regulatory space an individual must have a footing in an established discipline, how many of the game changing events that lead to the establishment of OIRA were dependent primarily on economic or legal skills? We are not convinced that the skills necessary to establish the most important institutional feature of the regulatory state differ from those necessary to operate it on a sustainable basis.

Neomi Rao to be the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

From: The White House

Ms. Rao is a professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where she founded and directs the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.  Her research and teaching focuses on constitutional and administrative law.  Currently a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, Ms. Rao has previously served in all three branches of the federal government.  She served as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush; counsel for nominations and constitutional law to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary; and law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.  She practiced public international law and arbitration at Clifford Chance LLP in London.  Ms. Rao received her JD with high honors from the University of Chicago and her BA from Yale University.

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

From: The Washington Post

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

Lessons from the godfather of regulatory budgeting

From: The Hill


The regulatory budget idea, which long has been advocated by policy wonks and has been implemented in countries such as Canada, ultimately may end up the most significant feature of Trump’s order. Given its importance, I sat down with the man many consider the godfather of regulatory budgeting, Jim Tozzi, to gauge his thoughts on the likelihood that the new administration will be able to implement such a program.

“I’m very pleased that they put it in, but I’m worried about the follow-through on making it work staff-wise and information-wise. I’m really concerned about that,” Tozzi said.

Historic OIRA Directive: Agencies, Use Domestic Regulatory Relief to Gain International Regulatory Relief

American regulations hobble American companies. Foreign regulations do the same thing. This is nothing new. Over thirty years ago, a senior OIRA official informed the President’s Regulatory Relief Task Force that

Many foreign governments are issuing a significant number of wide ranging regulations which result in unjustified expenditures on U.S. firms. Consequently the best of U.S, regulatory relief programs will not, by themselves, solve the problems created by foreign regulations. The regulations of foreign government often interfere with U.S, exports and the operation of multinational corporations by setting unreasonable product standards, limiting U.S. investment, requiring the use of local labor and materials and requiring that U.S. firms “offset” their sales by agreeing to export products produced by the foreign government.

OIRA’s Presidential Mandate to Implement a Regulatory Budget

After thirty seven years of analysis and debate the United States government is going to implement a regulatory budget as a result of a Presidential Executive Order [Sec. 3(d)] which will control the size of the regulatory state. OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget, has been assigned this task.

An issue of immediate concern is that OIRA is in need of additional staff but the probability of receiving additional staff is questionable as a result of personnel ceilings on the Executive Office of the President as well a recent personnel freeze.

OIRA Requests Comments on its Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of President Trump’s Executive Order on Regulation

OIRA’s Memorandum, “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, Titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” is attached here. The Memorandum emphasizes OIRA’s role as cockpit of the regulatory state and makes clear that OIRA is the President’s regulatory watchdog.

The Memorandum builds on OIRA’s established watchdog role and explains that Executive Order 12866 and OMB Circular A-4 remain applicable.

Below is an excerpt from the Memorandum which highlight’s OIRA’s watchdog role,

President Initiates a Regulatory Budget; CRA is Alive and Environmental Groups to Utilize the Data Quality Act to Prevent Changes in the EPA Data Base for Climate Change

Editor’s Alert:

The Reuter news organization disclosed environmental groups plan to utilize the Information Quality Act to prevent the Trump Administration from posting inaccurate information on climate change.

A number of news organizations picked up this story.

Daily Caller                                               Yahoo News

Western City Tribune




Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

CRE believes this story has legs whether or not it is promoted in the social media. For those who believe that plaintiffs can not seek judicial review under the DQA, it should be noted that environmental groups who challenge any decision to deny their petition for correction under the DQA may find a sympathetic ear in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals who in the Prime Time decision opined that the DQA was binding on agencies.