Publisher’s Note: Lawyers and economists: Trained but not educated. The aforementioned inference is drawn from the public comments which follow and reflect the wide range of possible positions held by members of Congress who oversee the confirmation of the Administrator of OIRA–the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) which is the cockpit of the regulatory state. Although it would be difficult–but not impossible–for a person to make contributions to OIRA without some background in both economics and administrative law, we believe the social entrepreneurial skills of any nominee out rank all other considerations. We make this statement because it is difficult to identify any of the game changing events that lead to the establishment of OIRA which are dependent primarily on economic or legal skills. Furthermore 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. Societal problems change with the passage of time and the skills necessary to maintain OIRA’s leadership role change accordingly.
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.
Given the high priority accorded to controlling the size of the regulatory state by the Trump Administration the upcoming hearings on the nominee for the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is being accorded considerable attention by a range of interested stakeholders.
Although it is likely that the Senate hearings will focus on pending regulatory issues a more compelling line of inquiry is whether the new leader(s) of OIRA share a commonality with their predecessors concerning the need for the institutionalization of OIRA which is dependent upon the exercise of neutral competence as a basic pillar of its sustainability. If the aforementioned commonality exists it provides a basis for projecting the likely outcome of forthcoming decisions and a determination as to whether or not they will be in accord with former paradigms.
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.
Editor’s Note: OMB’s Federal Register notice requesting comments, by June 12, 2017, on reorganizing the Executive Branch is attached here.
From: The White House
On March 13th, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order that will make the Federal government more efficient, effective, and accountable to you, the American people. This Executive Order directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to present the President with a plan that recommends ways to reorganize the executive branch and eliminate unnecessary agencies.
President Trump wants to hear your ideas and suggestions on how the government can be better organized to work for the American people.
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.
From: The Hill
By C. Jarrett Dieterle, opinion contributor
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.
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.
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.