Simpler: The Future of Government [Forthcoming]

From: Amazon

Simpler: The Future of Government [Hardcover]

Cass R. Sunstein (Author)

Book Description

Release Date: April 9, 2013

For nearly four years, Cass R. Sunstein, bestselling author and President Obama’s “Regulatory Czar,” helped to oversee a revolution in better government. He explains how and why—and what comes next.

Regulation’s Impact on Jobs

From: RegBlog

Donald R. Arbuckle

“Job killing regulations” is an epithet commonly heard this year, with unemployment at persistently high levels and a presidential election cycle just completed. Many politicians and media commentators have come to accept this phrase as axiomatic, and for them, it is a convenient shorthand for what they believe is a major cause of current high unemployment rates and the economic downturn.

Accolades to the Census Bureau, OMB and BLS for Developing a Supplemental Measure of Poverty

From: OIRA Watch

The Census Bureau, with support from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and  the support  of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has developed an additional methodology for measuring poverty in America.

Work on the supplemental measure of poverty began when then-OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein  requested  OMB’s Chief Statistician, Katherine K. Wallman,  to  spearhead an  improved understanding of poverty. CRE has had a long term interest in publicizing  the poverty level. It is not an overstatement to summarize  Jim Tozzi’s views as being that the unemployment rate, as important as it is, is essentially a “middle class” metric because even at an 8% unemployment level, 92% of the cohort is employed–a statistic of minimal interest to either the rich or the poor.   A metric that states  that 1 in 6  Americans are in poverty demonstrates a need for it being given considerably more attention in public policy debates.

Focus on OIRA, Regulator of Regulatory Agencies, as Obama Prepares for Second Term

From: Regulatory Focus

By Alexander Gaffney, RF News Editor

What’s next for the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)?

The agency, a sub-agency of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is sometimes referred to as the regulator of regulators; the agency charged with reviewing regulations promulgated by other agencies to ensure they meet federal guidelines and are generally cost-effective and minimally burdensome.

That mission has made it the bane of more than a few regulatory agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has recently seen several of its regulations—from Unique Device Identifier (UDI) rules to ones covering standards for laser products—delayed for months or even longer.

All Eyes on OIRA for Hints About Second Term

From: CQ

By Geof Koss and Lauren Gardner

Having survived an avalanche of campaign ads accusing him of destroying jobs by over-regulating this or that industry — his supposed “War on Coal” comes to mind — PresidentBarack Obamanow faces the challenge of deciding how aggressively to pursue his regulatory agenda.

For the past two years, Republicans have tried to rescind environmental and health care regulations that, they say, hurt the economy; they have mostly fallen short in the effort. At the same time, environmentalists and consumer advocates have chafed at what they view as the administration’s tendency to soften or delay new regulations.

Cass Sunstein, Former Administrator, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to Discuss “Deciding by Default: Lessons From Behavioral Economics” November 26

From: Princeton University

Cass Sunstein, who served as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) from September 2009 – October 2012, will discuss “Deciding by Default: Lessons from Behavioral Economics” at the Woodrow Wilson School on Monday, November 26, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., Robertson Hall.

Obama 2.0 and Regulation: Looking Forward, Mindful of the Past

From: Huffington Post

by Rena Steinzor, President, Center for Progressive Reform

President Obama’s reelection holds the possibility of great progress for public health, safety, and the environment — if, and only if, he recognizes the importance of these issues and stops trying to placate his most implacable opponents.

The weeks leading up to the election brought powerful reminders of two of the challenges at hand:  rising sea levels and more severe storms that scientists say we should expect as a result of unchecked climate change, and a meningitis outbreak that sickened hundreds, thanks to an obscure compounding pharmacy that escaped regulators’ reach. And let’s not forget that we are recovering from an economic downturn in which under-regulation of giant financial institutions played no small part. This is the context, the starting point.

Congressional Letter to OIRA: Unified Agenda, Report on Benefits and Costs of Regulation, Midnight Rules

Editor’s Note:  A letter to OIRA from the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and two sub-committee chairs is attached hereThe letter requests a staff briefing by November 2nd on OIRA’s delays in releasing the Spring 2012 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and the 2012 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations as well as whether OIRA has provided agencies with any guidance on “midnight rulemaking.”

Regulation should be more accountable

From: The Virginian-Pilot

By Susan E. Dudley

Should government regulators think through the likely effects of proposed regulations to see whether they’ll do more good than harm?

Every president for more than 30 years has thought so and has required executive branch agencies to analyze regulatory effects before imposing new requirements and to send them for review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.

However, because of their historical designation as “independent,” some agencies have been exempt from these common-sense requirements, making their regulations less accountable and well-reasoned than others.

Election Season Means It’s Time for BigLaw to Raid Talent From the G

From: New York Law Journal

By Jenna Greene and Matthew Huisman

To law firms, a presidential election means more than debates and conventions and bumper stickers. It’s also a chance to acquire talent.

The revolving door between law firms and the federal government is always spinning, but every four years it speeds up as top lawyers in politically appointed posts are either forced out by a change in administration or burn out after stints in public service.