President Nominates Cass Sunstein to OMB Regulatory Post

By April 22, 2009Economy, Regulations

From The White House:

President Obama Announces Another Key OMB Post

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Cass R. Sunstein to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget.

President Obama said, “As one of America’s leading constitutional scholars, Cass Sunstein has distinguished himself in a range of fields, including administrative law and policy, environmental law, and behavioral economics.  He is uniquely qualified to lead my Administration’s regulatory reform agenda at this crucial stage in our history. Cass is not only a valued advisor, he is a dear friend and I am proud to have him on my team.”

A very good appointment from the President. Sunstein is a keen thinker on many issues, obviously, but we especially appreciate his perspective on the precautionary principle. This Boston Globe column gives a good summary.

In other nomination news, the Washington Post’s Al Kamen notes that when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius takes over as Secretary of Health and Human Services, “there will finally be one confirmed Obama appointee at each agency.”

In that distinguished grouping we find Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner each have but one other confirmed nominee to talk to, according to data compiled by Clara Janis of New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

The White House has really stepped up the nominations this week, starting with this list.

UPDATE (3:40 p.m.): OMB Director Peter Orzag welcomes Sunstein to the shop, citing his influence on behavior economics:

Cass will be able to shape a regulatory structure that is rooted in commonsense to achieve the values and ends that the President and the American people seek. For years, Cass has been that rare specimen – an academic whose writing and thinking has had a real effect on policymakers. Indeed, Cass is the most cited law professor on any faculty in the United States. Now, Cass is entering the arena, and I am eager to work with him to implement the President’s regulatory reform agenda.

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