APPAM Panel Paper: Presidentially Directed Policy Change

Editor’s Note: The complete paper “Presidentially Directed Policy Change” is available here.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Simon Haeder, West Virginia University and Susan Webb Yackee, University of Wisconsin
U.S. presidents—working through the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)—influence administrative agencies by directing agencies to modify their regulatory policy proposals before finalization. We identify two competing hypotheses from the literature to explain this presidential intervention. First, some scholars hypothesize that presidents are more likely to change proposals when the submitting agency’s political ideology differs from the president’s. Second, others argue that presidents are more likely to correct ideologically extreme agencies of either political ideology. Neither claim has been adequately investigated. We study almost 1,500 final regulations reviewed by OIRA between 2005 and 2011. In the end, neither hypothesis garners support. Instead, we demonstrate that regulations proposed by liberally-oriented agencies are more likely to be changed—and the content of the rules changed to a greater degree—than conservative agencies. These results provide suggestive support for a provocative third hypothesis: presidentially-directed deregulation via OIRA review.

Regulatory Reform Should Be About Strengthening Legislative Responsibility

From: The Regulatory Review

Countries like Australia and Canada offer models for reining in delegation of lawmaking authority to agencies.

The Trump Administration’s deregulation efforts have so far made some progress in stemming the growth of federal rulemaking. New analysis from the Heritage Foundation finds that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which conducts reviews of agency analyses of significant new regulations, has carried out the fewest reviews of new rules since record-keeping began in the 1990s.


Improving Regulatory Analysis at Independent Agencies

From: SSRN

Cary Coglianese

Internal Administrative Law

From: Michigan Law Review

Gillian E. Metzger & Kevin M. Stack, Internal Administrative Law, 115 Mich. L. Rev. 1239 (2017).

Designing Safety Regulations for High-Hazard Industries

From: The Regulatory Review