SEC Finalizes Most Expensive Regulation of Trump Era

From: American Action Forum

Dan Goldbeck, Dan Bosch


The driver of the week was the SEC rule regarding “Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct.” The rule is SEC’s attempt to update certain investor protections in light of the demise of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Fiduciary Rule.” The American Action Forum’s Thomas Wade explained the proposed version here. There is some controversy over whether or not this rule is the proper replacement for DOL’s previous regulation, but there’s no denying that it establishes quite the administrative regime in-and-of itself. In examining simply the paperwork burdens involved, SEC estimates that the price tag for this rule is “approximately $27.5 billion.” Of course, SEC is an independent agency outside of the direct control of the White House and not subject to the regulatory budget under Executive Order (EO) 13,771. Nevertheless, it is a remarkable total given the overall regulatory trends of the past couple of years.

Reining In Government by Dear Colleague Letter: An Update

Editor’s Note: For more on the confluence the OIRA’s memorandum on guidance document and the ACUS study of guidance documents, see the discussion here @ 2:48:33. 

From: Cato

By Walter Olson


On April 11, the White House Office of Management and Budget tightened another means of control when it issued guidance (irony alert) about the duty of agencies, including traditionally independent agencies, to notify OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs well in advance of publishing new rules to ensure compliance with the Congressional Review Act. The guidance makes clear that “rule” can sometimes include “guidance documents, general statements of policy, and interpretive rules” that do not go through a conventional rulemaking process.

Guidance Documents of the Week

Editor’s Note: OIRA “has issued a directive to federal agencies requiring that all guidance documents be submitted to OMB before they are promulgated. … Of particular note are agencies that have issued guidance documents and never listed them on their website as directed by OMB in an earlier directive.” See The Resurrection of the Congressional Review Act.

From: Competitive Enterprise Institute

Sean Stewart


This week we look at documents from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ABA AdLaw Section Summer Brownbag Series: Regulation of Social Media?

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

These two ABA AdLaw Section brownbags look terrific and timely:

Summer Brown-Bag Series
Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
Regulatory Policy Committee

DigitalGov and 18F launch practical guide to the Paperwork Reduction Act

From: FedScoop

Written by 


Enter the PRA Guide, a new website developed by the DigitalGov and 18F teams at the General Services Administration, with subject-matter expertise from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the office that oversees PRA clearances.

“The PRA Guide is a plain language guide which answers the most common questions like, ‘What is the PRA for?’, ‘Do I need clearance?’ and ‘What’s the process?’,” an introduction to the new site reads. “It aims to give federal employees confidence working with the PRA — and through this, lower the barriers to working effectively with the public.”

From Cherry Blossoms To Climate: EPA As Peace Corps For Environment?

From: Inside EPA’s Environment Next

Views on climate change can turn on a single incident; former White House regulatory review chief and deregulatory advocate Jim Tozzi says his position changed after the National Cherry Blossom festival. “The whole land over the blossoms was mud,” he says, because of climate change-induced Tidal Basin flooding damaging the ground around the blossoming trees. While some squelching mud underfoot might seem a minor annoyance, it got Tozzi thinking about the broader impacts of increasing temperatures….

Read Complete Article (Paywall)

What’s a Major Rule? White House OMB Seeks to Clarify

From: EHS Daily Advisor

By William C. Schillaci

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is part of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), recently issued a memo clarifying how it determines if a proposed federal rule is a major rule and the level of cooperation the OIRA expects from federal agencies to assist in that determination. The memo applies to all federal agencies and departments and is particularly relevant to the EPA, which leads all its sister agencies by a wide margin in both the value of benefits from major rules and the associated cost of compliance.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Myths and Realities

From: Harvard Law Review

OMB Memo Outlines All FDA Guidance’s Will Be Reviewed by the White House Prior to Publication

From: Policy & Medicine

By Thomas Sullivan

The Trump administration recently issued new guidelines that will expand White House and congressional oversight and review of federal agencies’ rule-making processes, including those for traditionally independent agencies. This will have an especially important impact on the work of the FDA.

Impact on FDA

Generally, FDA releases draft and final guidances to help industry understand the agency’s thinking on a subject. Regulatory Focus notes almost 100 draft guidance documents are intended to be released by just the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research alone. This causes some confusion as to whether the agency regulates based on the non-binding guidance documents.

Trump administration readies draft plan to speed environmental permitting

From: Reuters

The Trump administration will complete a draft proposal to streamline environmental permitting for big infrastructure projects by next month, an administration official said on Wednesday, marking a key step in its controversial effort to cut red tape for industry over the objections of conservationists.

Ted Boling, associate director for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), said the draft rule to reform NEPA would be sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review in June, but did not disclose what changes the proposal would include.