Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Executive Order 13422

(I'm posting this for Betsy McKenzie, who was having troubles with this particular entry. Something to do with Microsoft Word, I suspect. -- Jim Milles)

The Union of Concerned Scientists offered a press release on July 24. The occasion was the Senate confirmation hearing for the new head of the Office of Management and Budget.

A Senate confirmation hearing for former U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)... In a July 23 letter, UCS and OMB Watch urged Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chair Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) to question the nominee on his opinion of Bush administration Executive Order 13422, which goes into effect today [July 24, 2007]. The executive order bans any regulation from moving forward without the approval of an agency's regulatory policy officer, who would be a political appointee. UCS urged the Senate committee to ask Mr. Nussle how he would ensure that political appointees would not interfere with the work of agency scientists. ... The groups also sent the letter to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), who is holding an additional confirmation hearing for Nussle later this week.
See this earlier OOTJ post on the Executive Order, and link here to read the Executive Order 13422.

Democrats voted to block spending to put the Executive Order into effect:
Calling it a power grab, Democrats running Congress are intent on stopping him.

The House voted last week to prohibit the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from spending federal money on Executive Order 13422, signed by Bush in January and due to take effect July 24.

The order requires federal officials to show that private companies, people or institutions failed to address a problem before agencies can write regulations to tackle it. It also gives political appointees greater authority over how the regulations are written.

The House measure “stops this president or any president from seizing the power to rewrite almost every law that Congress passes, laws that protect public health, the environment, safety, civil rights, privacy and on and on,” said Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat who sponsored the bill.

The administration contends Bush’s order merely strengthens a similar directive issued by President Clinton in 1993 giving the White House budget office oversight of federal agency rule-making.

Bush’s executive order:

•Requires agencies to identify “market failures,” where the private sector fell short in dealing with a problem, as a factor in proposing a rule.

•States that no rule-making can go forward without the approval of an agency’s Regulatory Policy Office, to be headed by a presidential appointee.

•Directs each agency to provide an estimate of costs and benefits of regulations.

•Requires agencies to inform the White House regulatory affairs office of proposed significant guidance documents on complying with rules.
From an article in the Kansas City Star here.

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