President Bush today appointed Susan E. Dudley to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. After her consideration was delayed due to unwarranted political reasons — Dudley was first nominated to the position last August 1 — the President exercised his authority to make her a recess appointment, allowing her to serve through December 2008.

Dudley is completely qualified to assume the OMB position, which oversees the regulatory activities of executive agencies to ensure they are consistent with Administration policy. A base campaign was ginned up against her by those who prefer that expansive government regulations go unexamined, but her experience, intellect and temperament are beyond reproach. As evidence, consider the opinions of six of her predecessors, OIRA administrators of both political parties. In a letter last September, they wrote:

Like the Presidents for whom we worked, we hold somewhat different views about the appropriate role of government regulation in the economy and in society. Not all of us agree with all of this nominee’s views on individual regulations. All of us, however, recognize the importance of OIRA in ensuring that federal rules provide the greatest value to the American people. In our view, objective evaluation of regulatory benefits and costs, and open, transparent, and responsive regulatory procedures, are necessary to avert policy mistakes and undue influence of narrow interest groups.

We believe that Susan Dudley is a nominee of integrity, experience and relevant training. We also understand that she is committed to ensuring that federal regulations are evaluated objectively and that the review process is transparent. She is a respected educator and research with experience on the staff of two federal regulatory agencies as well as OIRA.

OMB Director Rob Portman issued a statement upon Dudley’s appointment today, noting the OIRA position had been vacant for a year. A fact sheet on Dudley, her qualifications and her nomination is available here.

Other useful reading on Dudley, valuable facts and perspective to counter the distortions and ugly claims made by her politically motivated critics:

  • Who Will Regulate the Regulators? The Battle Over Susan Dudley and OIRA,” by James L. Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation.
  • Desperately Smearing Susan,” by Case Western law professor Jonathan Adler.
  • A personal testimony from her George Mason colleague, Todd Zawicki, at the Volokh Conspiracy.
  • Good appointment, Mr. President. Thank you for your public service, Susan.

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