Howard Shelanski, Ph.D., JD — Unquestionably Qualified

In a demonstration of Dr. Shelanski’s unquestioned qualifications to be Administrator of OIRA, the Senators at his confirmation hearing never questioned his qualifications.  Instead, questions from the Senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee focused on long-standing issues regarding Administration regulatory policies and OIRA’s regulatory review function.  A reporter from a business publication observed that “Business groups will like his commitment to subjecting proposed regulations to cost-benefit analyses.” The reporter also noted that “Shelanski committed to performing OIRA’s regulatory reviews in a timely fashion.”

The Administration’s nominee demonstrated that he understands the core purpose of centralized regulatory review when he explained that “his job is to ask ‘hard questions’ to make sure the evidence they [the agencies] relied on is strong.”

Dr. Shelanski further emphasized the need for OIRA to ensure that agencies adhere to OMB’s guidance implementing the Data Quality Act in response to a question from Sen. Coburn.  The Senator asked if the nominee was committed to ensuring that agencies follow the standards set forth in OMB’s Peer Review Bulletin for influential scientific information.  Howard Shelanski responded that, “under the Executive Orders, OIRA does play a role in ensuring that the agencies observe proper process and that the evidence they have relied on is sound and meets applicable data quality standards.”

In nominating, Howard Shelanski President Obama demonstrated his continued commitment to ensuring that OIRA’s leader is an intellectual heavyweight with significant government experience.

See, video of confirmation hearing

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