Restraining The Regulatory State

From: Regulation / Spring 2017

A Regulatory Review Office could help Congress determine if new rules are benefiting the public.



Comprehensive regulatory review cannot be left to the judiciary because of the costs and time required to litigate thousands of agency rules with all of the due process requirements as each challenged rule winds its way through the federal courts—a phenomenon all too familiar. Thus, the best solution to the problem of excesses in the agencies’ exercise of delegated regulatory authority is to allow Congress to undertake regulatory reviews and, where appropriate, undo some of this delegation.

Valuing Bureaucracy: The Case for Professional Government

From: Regulatory Pacesetters

Paul Verkuil, the former Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States and a nationally recognized legal academician, has written a book highlighting the invaluable contributions and ever increasing significance of career civil servants.

The author makes a fundamental point regarding infrastructure. Yes, he argues, that the nation’s physical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, are in need of repair but equally important is the need to rebuild the civil service infrastructure which delivers social security checks, Medicare, Medicaid, protection from terrorists and foreign enemies as well as clean air and clean water.

Requiring Formal Rulemaking Is a Thinly Veiled Attempt to Halt Regulation

From: The Regulatory Review

Professor Kent Barnett recently opined in The Regulatory Review that formal rulemaking really is not that bad and may actually be a good thing in certain circumstances. His argument deserves closer review because the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would require the equivalent of formal rulemaking—or what the bill calls a “public hearing.” Barnett may well be right to suggest that in some situations the costs of formal rulemaking could be justified, but he could not be more wrong to argue that the circumstances that would trigger formal rulemaking under the RAA are among those situations.

Environmental NGOs Walking Timidly Up to the DQA Confessional

From: Bloomberg/Bureau of National Affairs

Scorned Law May Be Environmentalists’ Tool to Protect EPA Data

By Rachel Leven


Progressives have dismissed the Data Quality Act as a tool for industry groups to poke holes in information in government reports and reviews. But now the father of the law says environmentalists are quietly approaching him about the possibility of turning the law on a White House that has taken down information from the Environmental Protection Agency website, including a climate science page that stated, “It is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of the warming.”

Patience is still a virtue in the regulatory process

Editor’s Note: See, Regulatory Deossification Revisited.

From: Washington Examiner

by Jerry Ellig & Andrew M. Baxter


Like rumors of Mark Twain’s death, tales of a decades-long regulatory slowdown have been greatly exaggerated. And for the important regulations, investing some extra time is exactly what we should be doing to make sure we get the decisions right.

The Regulatory Accountability Act, Or: How Progressives Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cost-Benefit Analysis

Editor’s Note: A simple route to ensuring both cost-benefit analysis and accountability for the results is by establishing a regulatory budget.

From: Yale Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by Jonathan Masur

GAO: OMB Should Address Data Quality Challenges Ahead of Federal Spending Report Deadline

Editor’s Note: See, Federal Data Crisis: Unreliable Federal Databases are Destroying Opportunities for Small Businesses.

From: ExecutiveGov

The government watchdog added that the Office of Management and Budget should give agencies additional guidance to address data quality issues.


GAO also identified concerns regarding data quality assurance processes, which OMB plans to address by finalizing the assurance process ahead of the deadline.

Read Complete Article


The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future

Editor’s Note: Regulatory reform is an important path to fiscal reform, see here.

From: US General Accountability Office

The Comptroller General testified before Congress about the federal government’s unsustainable long-term fiscal outlook—the growing imbalance between revenues (money collected) and spending (driven by health care, Social Security, and net interest on the debt).

A plan is needed to put the nation on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. But in the near-term, Congress and executive branch agencies have opportunities to improve the government’s fiscal condition, including trying to address improper payments and the tax gap, as well as making changes where federal programs or activities are at high risk or fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative.