White House seeks tighter oversight of regulations issued by Fed and other independent agencies

From: The Washington Post

By Damian Paletta

The White House on Thursday for the first time said it was requiring the Federal Reserve and other independent agencies to submit new guidelines for review, a controversial step that has long been a goal of conservative groups.


But in a memo on Thursday, Russell Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, instructed all federal agencies to submit a range of proposals to the White House so that a determination could be made as to whether they are “major” or “minor.”

Economists at the Federal Communications Commission study economists!

Editor’s Note: The FCC Working Paper, “The Organization of Economists in Regulatory Agencies: Does Structure Matter?” by Jerry Ellig and Catherine Konieczny is available here.

From: AEI


How does the paper reach that conclusion?

The FCC economists examined the quality of RIA across federal agencies. Quality was measured in two ways. One approach was to have multiple economists assess the thoroughness of RIA studies. The other approach was to adopt the quality measure developed by an academic study.

Presidential Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

From: The White House | Presidential Memoranda

Issued on: 


(b)  The report shall:


(iii)   To the extent that certain types of data are not currently available to the Federal Government, or accessible in a readily usable form, recommend changes to the data collection practices of agencies, including specification of categories of data that should be collected and appropriate standardization practices for data.

White House Announces Acting Regulatory Chief

From: GovExec

By Charles S. Clark

The White House budget office on Tuesday tweeted a confirmation of recent news reports that Paul Ray, the deputy administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is temporarily leading the agency in charge of the Trump administration’s ambitious deregulation effort.

Ray, previously a counselor to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, takes over for Neomi Rao, who on March 13 was confirmed by the Senate as a judge on the  U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia.

Read Complete Article

OIRA Influences Tax Policy?

From: Politico | Morning Tax

Eyeing the French



CUT THE FAT: Treasury’s announcement that it would curb the use of several of its regulatory tools — including so-called sub-regulatory guidance like revenue rulings and procedures, as Aaron noted — surprised lots of D.C. tax people.

Tax Notes’ Jonathan Curry had a thorough explainer on the new three-page memo and the largely positive reception it received, noting that the changes suggest the influence of Kristin Hickman, a senior official in the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. There’s also a judicial angle here — the Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case where it could undercut the so-called Auer deference, which generally requires courts to side with agencies’ interpretations of their own regulations in legal disputes.

Who will be Trump’s next regs czar? Here are 4 contenders

From: E&E News

Niina Heikkinen
(Left to right) Dominic Mancini, Mark Paoletta, Rosario Palmieri and Paul Ray are all potential replacements for Neomi Rao as the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News(graphic);PUCRS International/ Facebook(Mancini); Cpl. Christian Varney/Marine Corps/Wikipedia (Paoletta); Palmieri/LinkedIn; Hillsdale College (Ray)

The agency leading the Trump administration’s deregulation agenda could soon be on the search for a new administrator.

The current head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Neomi Rao, may soon be confirmed to replace Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

President Trump Launches AI Strategy For Federal Government

Editor’s Note: Also see White House Emphasizes Data Quality, Consensus Standards, OIRA Review in Regulating Artificial Intelligence.

From: Mondaq

Article by Rajesh De, Brad L. Peterson, David L. Beam, Kendall C. Burman, Alex C. Lakatos and Howard W. Waltzman | Mayer Brown

On February 11, 2019, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” (the “Order”) and, in doing so, set out a high-level strategy to strengthen the leadership position that the United States has maintained in AI. Important for companies, the Order sets off a number of opportunities for the private sector to give comments back to the federal government on how it can make changes that strengthen private sector AI development.

The Many Ways to Gauge Results of Trump’s Deregulatory Push

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark


That view was a polar opposite from the presentation last October from the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which touted its “acceleration” of Trump’s deregulatory push launched with his January 2017 Executive Order 13771. Agencies, OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao said, had eliminated $23 billion in overall regulatory costs across the government, with 176 deregulatory actions and 14 significant actions. The ratio of repeals to new rules issued was 12-1, OIRA reported, with only 14 new major rules promulgated.

House Small Business Subcommittee Seeks Agency Adherence to Data Quality Act Transparency Requirements

From: House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chairwoman

This subcommittee will probe the efficient operation of government programs that affect small businesses, including the SBA, and develop proposals to make them operate in a more cost-effective manner.  This subcommittee also will review the regulatory burdens imposed on small businesses and how those burdens may be alleviated.


  • Transparency of the federal rulemaking process as required by the Administrative Procedure and Data Quality Acts.
  • Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

See Subcommittee Website

Federal Agencies to Establish Regulatory Guidelines for AI Development

From: GeekWire

White House initiative will boost artificial intelligence research and data-sharing


The White House is moving forward with the American AI Initiative, a set of policies aimed at focusing the full resources of the federal government on the frontiers of artificial intelligence.


As a trust-building measure, federal agencies are being asked to establish regulatory guidelines for AI development and use across different types of technology and industrial sectors. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is being given the lead role in the development of technical standards for reliable, trustworthy, secure and interoperable AI systems.