Reviewing Regulations from Independent Agencies

By July 14, 2011Regulations

On Monday, President Obama ordered independent regulatory agencies to promote the goals of Executive Order 13563 related to cost-benefit analysis issued in January. That order suggests that independent agencies should consider conducting retrospective review of existing regulations.

Independent Agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have now been given a strong nudge to conduct retrospective analyses of their regulations to determine whether any should be modified or repealed. The NAM applauds this action and urges independent agencies to engage in meaningful regulatory review that yields a thoughtful cleanup of outdated and unnecessarily burdensome regulation.

The President’s Order is heavily qualified by phrases seeking to make sure that the Administration not be accused of exceeding its authority over independent agencies. We believe the President has far greater authority than has been asserted. In the absence of stronger direction from the President, Congress must make clear the President’s authority in this regard.

The President’s Office of Management & Budget (OMB) already has been given authority by Congress to review the paperwork burden imposed by independent regulatory agencies. Congress should give the President the same authority to review regulations and the burdens they impose. This would promote greater uniformity in our regulatory system and improve our economy by imposing the same kind of broader thinking already applied to the regulations of agencies in the rest of the Executive Branch.

Erik Glavich is director of legal and regulatory policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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