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Jan
13

The last-minute rush to regulate

From: The Hill

By Sherzod Abdukadirov, contributor

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Agencies rush to issue regulations at the end of the administration primarily for two reasons: to avoid delays and to avoid scrutiny. The change in the administration and the often-lengthy confirmation process for new agency heads that follows can disrupt agencies’ operations and delay regulations. Consequently, agencies try to get their regulations out before the outgoing administration leaves office. Alternatively, agencies may deliberately hold off on finalizing controversial regulations until the midnight period when they face few political repercussions and little oversight.

Whichever the reason, the last-minute flood of regulations overwhelms the system of checks that is built into the regulatory process. Before becoming final, each major regulation goes through two types of external checks. First, the regulation is reviewed by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The OIRA checks the quality of regulation’s economic analysis to ensure that it provides the most benefit at a reasonable cost.

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