Archive for March, 2013

Active Choosing versus Default Rules

From: RegBlog

Brian Ryoo

In the 1980s, the national school lunch program found itself stuck in a demoralizing quandary: not enough poor children were qualifying, or even applying, for the program because it was too difficult to apply. In response, the program administrators instituted a “direct certification” program through which school districts initially enrolled needy students in the program without requiring them to complete the application. Poor children were presumed qualified for the program by default unless shown otherwise – a policy change in the “default rule” that brought over a quarter-million additional poor students into the free lunch program.

President Obama Drops by a Meeting with Small Business Leaders

From: The White House Blog

A $6 million manufacturer, a five-person carbon capture start-up, and a 70-person medical device company. On Monday, the President met with the leaders of these small businesses and 100 more like them to discuss the economy and the President’s commitment to small business success.

Organized by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), the group at the White House flew in from over 20 states and represented a broad cross-section of industries. The typical small business owner in the room employed 50 people, generating around $10 million in annual revenue.

The White House’s Enforcer: The Office of Management & Budget

From: Center Forward


The U.S. federal government consists of over 450 different agencies — in total, employing 4.4 million people and spending over $6 trillion per year. While the Constitution authorizes the President to lead the Executive Branch, the sheer size of this task requires him to delegate his oversight authority. The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) sits atop a complex bureaucracy, overseeing all federal government operations and implementing the President’s agenda government-wide. From monitoring day-to-day agency activities to crafting the President’s budget proposals, OMB operates as the ultimate enforcer of the White House’s priorities and vision.

OIRA Does Their Job

From: Bloomberg/BNA

White House Returns Proposed Rule On Refineries to EPA for More Analysis

By Jessica Coomes

The White House Office of Management and Budget has sent back to the Environmental Protection Agency a proposed rule to revise air pollution standards for petroleum refineries, BNA has learned.

The proposed rule, which would affect about 150 refineries, was intended to address residual risk and technological developments related to air toxics emissions from the sector and to amend new source performance standards to control emissions of a number of pollutants.

“OMB returned the rule to the agency so EPA could complete additional analysis for the proposed rules,” EPA said in a statement to BNA March 13.

Career official takes over as Obama’s acting regulatory czar

From: The Hill

By Ben Goad

A career official has taken over the influential agency that reviews federal  regulations, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday.

The White House Office and Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed that  attorney Boris Bershteyn is no longer in charge of the Office of Information and  Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Instead, it is being led by Deputy Administrator  Dominic Mancini, an OMB spokeswoman told The Hill.

Mancini is a veteran of the regulatory office, having spent at least a  decade there, according to OMB records. He will likely hold the job until  President Obama puts forward a nominee who is confirmed by the Senate.

U.S.-EU High Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum – Stakeholder Session

Editor’s Note:  OMB’s Federal Register notice, which contains information on how interested persons may request to present oral statements at the public meeting and otherwise provide information to the docket, is attached here.  Below is the notice’s Summary.

SUMMARY: On September 28, 2012, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), together with the European Commission’s Enterprise and Trade Directorates-General, published a joint request for comments on “Promoting US EC Regulatory Compatibility” (see [HERE]) The notice was part of a joint effort by the United States and the European Union (EU) to obtain input from the public on how to promote greater transatlantic regulatory compatibility generally as well as in specific economic sectors. See also On April 10th and 11th, OMB and the European Commission will hold a public meeting of the U.S.-EU High Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum (the “Forum”) in Washington, D.C., to provide interested persons with an opportunity to provide an oral statement.

An OIRA Administrator — Not A Rubber Stamp

Editor’s Note: It will be a difficult task for the White House to fill adequately Cass Sunstein’s shoes. Nonetheless, the job of OIRA Administrator is too important to be left to anyone lacking the requisite commitment to enforcing the “Good Government” laws that regulate the regulators.

From: CPRBlog

It’s Past Time to Appoint an OIRA Administrator

by Rena Steinzor