Waters of the US: Regulatory Overreach is Detrimental To The Credibility Of All Environmental Programs

Constitutional scholar Paul Larkin concludes:

The EPA–USACE rule has proved to be quite controversial, principally because it effectively treated as one of the “waters of the United States” virtually any body of water, however remote the connection to navigable waters.

Given the current state of the regulatory environment do EPA and the Corps of Engineers really want to indict and convict US citizens for de minimis actions which by definition have no or little environmental consequences? It is best that both organizations stand back and look at the forest, not the trees.


Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

From: The Washington Post

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

Lessons from the godfather of regulatory budgeting

From: The Hill


The regulatory budget idea, which long has been advocated by policy wonks and has been implemented in countries such as Canada, ultimately may end up the most significant feature of Trump’s order. Given its importance, I sat down with the man many consider the godfather of regulatory budgeting, Jim Tozzi, to gauge his thoughts on the likelihood that the new administration will be able to implement such a program.

“I’m very pleased that they put it in, but I’m worried about the follow-through on making it work staff-wise and information-wise. I’m really concerned about that,” Tozzi said.

Historic OIRA Directive: Agencies, Use Domestic Regulatory Relief to Gain International Regulatory Relief

American regulations hobble American companies. Foreign regulations do the same thing. This is nothing new. Over thirty years ago, a senior OIRA official informed the President’s Regulatory Relief Task Force that

Many foreign governments are issuing a significant number of wide ranging regulations which result in unjustified expenditures on U.S. firms. Consequently the best of U.S, regulatory relief programs will not, by themselves, solve the problems created by foreign regulations. The regulations of foreign government often interfere with U.S, exports and the operation of multinational corporations by setting unreasonable product standards, limiting U.S. investment, requiring the use of local labor and materials and requiring that U.S. firms “offset” their sales by agreeing to export products produced by the foreign government.

OIRA’s Presidential Mandate to Implement a Regulatory Budget

After thirty seven years of analysis and debate the United States government is going to implement a regulatory budget as a result of a Presidential Executive Order [Sec. 3(d)] which will control the size of the regulatory state. OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget, has been assigned this task.

An issue of immediate concern is that OIRA is in need of additional staff but the probability of receiving additional staff is questionable as a result of personnel ceilings on the Executive Office of the President as well a recent personnel freeze.

OIRA Requests Comments on its Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of President Trump’s Executive Order on Regulation

OIRA’s Memorandum, “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, Titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” is attached here. The Memorandum emphasizes OIRA’s role as cockpit of the regulatory state and makes clear that OIRA is the President’s regulatory watchdog.

The Memorandum builds on OIRA’s established watchdog role and explains that Executive Order 12866 and OMB Circular A-4 remain applicable.

Below is an excerpt from the Memorandum which highlight’s OIRA’s watchdog role,

President Initiates a Regulatory Budget; CRA is Alive and Environmental Groups to Utilize the Data Quality Act to Prevent Changes in the EPA Data Base for Climate Change

Editor’s Alert:

The Reuter news organization disclosed environmental groups plan to utilize the Information Quality Act to prevent the Trump Administration from posting inaccurate information on climate change.  Also see article in BNA.

A number of news organizations picked up this story.

Daily Caller                                               Yahoo News

Western City Tribune




Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

CRE believes this story has legs whether or not it is promoted in the social media. For those who believe that plaintiffs can not seek judicial review under the DQA, it should be noted that environmental groups who challenge any decision to deny their petition for correction under the DQA may find a sympathetic ear in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals who in the Prime Time decision opined that the DQA was binding on agencies.

Trump to order regulatory rollback Friday for finance industry starting with Dodd-Frank

Editor’s Note: The Executive Order, Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System, is attached here.

From: The Washington Post

President Trump plans to order a rollback Friday of regulations governing the financial services industry and Wall Street under the Dodd-Frank law and beyond, a White House source confirmed.


National Affairs Emphasis on OIRA’s Management of the Regulatory State

National Affairs is a nationally recognized journal specializing in public policy issues. National Affairs, in conjunction with the Hoover Institution, held  a seminar on its seminal publication titled Policy Reforms for an Accountable Administrative State which was authored by leading experts in the field, Adam White, Oren Cass and Kevin Kosar.

The publication is a must read document for members of the  incoming Administration. CRE applauds the authors for their focusing on OIRA, the cockpit of the regulatory state. A number of informed studies have identified needed procedural and substantive improvements in the regulatory state but few recognize that no such improvements will occur unless there is a manager in place capable of implementing them.

Building A Nationwide Constituency for OIRA

As of December 31, 2016

Here are the results of a multiyear program to educate our citizenry of the important role played by the Office of Information and  Regulatory Affairs, OIRA, in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

A Synopsis

Progress on the Web 

Progress at Universities

The Repository

Lack of Stakeholder Support for OIRA