When US presidents push for regulatory reform, liberal agency rules may be first in the firing line.

Editor’s Note: OIRA’s review of regulations rests on a formidable foundation, read The Iconic Executive Order 12291: The Precedent for the Preservation of Critical Executive Orders.

From: LSE USCentre

One of the concrete achievements of the Trump administration in the last 18 months has been the rapid removal of a great deal of existing regulation. But what kinds of regulations tend to be recommended for modification or removal? Simon F. Haeder and Susan Webb Yackee have studied the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or OIRA in government rulemaking and find that OIRA frequently recommends changes to rules proposed by agencies which tend to lean to the left politically, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. As Trump moves to expand OIRA’s powers, they warn that this may have significant implications for policy outcomes felt across the United States for the years to come.


We found that OIRA frequently recommends substantive changes to the content of rules being written across the federal government, and we also found that these suggested policy changes almost always make it into the text of the finalized rules. Moreover, our results suggested that OIRA is considerably more likely to recommend changes to rules being proposed by agencies believed to be more left-of-center in their political orientation, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, than those proposed by politically neutral or conservative agencies, such as the US Departments of Transportation or Defense.  We also found that the total amount of change OIRA requested of liberal-leaning agencies’ rules is larger than the amount requested of neutral and conservative agencies’ rules. Interestingly, our study reveals that presidents from both sides of the political aisle show this tendency.

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