Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 and the Bumpers Amendment

The Regulatory Accountability Act is one of the most comprehensive regulatory reform bills under consideration by the Congress.

It should be noted that more than three decades ago Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, a senator with a near 100% rating by liberal groups, introduced the Bumpers Amendment, a proposal to improve the regulatory process by eliminating the deference accorded to agency decisions.

It is very possible that the Bumpers Amendment would have passed had it not been subject to immense opposition by the Carter White House. An Index of OMB internal papers identifies a White Memorandum on Bumpers (Item 3) which CRE is trying to locate.

Evaluating Regulations after the Fact

Editor’s Note: Routine cost-benefit analysis of planned regulatory actions began during the Nixon Administration using techniques pioneered by the Corps of Engineers during the Johnson Administration. For information on the pre-Reagan history of centralized regulatory review, please see, OIRA’s Formative Years: The Historical Record of Centralized Regulatory Review Preceding OIRA’s Founding, [63 Admin. L. Rev. (Special Edition) 2011] here.

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Burnishing His Legacy, President Obama Is Focused on Making Rule Review Permanent

From: BNA/Daily Report for Executives

By Cheryl Bolen

President Barack Obama, with an eye toward his legacy, is personally engaged in a new initiative to move federal agencies into the next phase of reviewing their regulations—the results are expected in late summer—and potentially will make the changes permanent.

First announced in 2011, retrospective review had some early successes, but has slowed as cash-strapped agencies have struggled to both review existing rules and promulgate new ones, including the required public comment, cost estimates and impact analyses.

Incorporating Private Standards into Public Regulations

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Every year, federal administrative agencies in the United States create thousands of new regulations, producing new rules governing public health, homeland security, consumer protection, and civil rights, among other vital issues. Central to the process of creating these administrative rules is a requirement for public notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, debate has recently emerged over agencies’ practice of “incorporation by reference” – that is, a reliance on privately-created standards in crafting public rules – which some have argued conflicts with values of transparency and public participation.


The First Watchdog in Chief, John R. McCarl

From: US General Accountability Office | WatchBlog

McCarl retired at the end of his 15-year term on June 30, 1936. On the occasion, the Saturday Evening Post praised McCarl for being a “no-man” on excessive public spending. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also praised him for this trait: “Among the welter of Washington’s yes-men, he was a forthright, solitary and heartening no-man.”