Editor’s Note: OIRA review of independent agency regulations is a regulatory reform which has been publicly vetted for over fifteen years. See, Tozzi, Jim J. and Levinson, Bruce, A Blueprint for OMB Review of Independent Agency Regulations (March 1, 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740694 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740694.

From: American Action Forum

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Eakinomics: Expanding the Scope of OIRA Review

The Trump Administration is evidently considering the scope of the regulatory review provided by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Specifically, OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao indicated the administration is considering expanding its review beyond the executive agencies (e.g., Treasury, Interior) to include independent agencies.

There are over 40 such agencies currently exempted from the review process. While within the president’s powers, it would be highly controversial to review the likes of the Federal Reserve, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or many others. On the other hand, it’s a bit harder to anticipate a public outcry over OIRA review of the Administrative Conference of the United States, the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the Denali Commission, or the Merit Systems Protection Board. Indeed, as AAF’s Daniel Bosch, Daniel Goldbeck, and Philip Rossetti point out, one strong candidate for inclusion is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) because its safety-oriented mission is similar to other reviewed agencies (e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency) and past research from AAF shows that recent regulations are costly but have marginal safety value.

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