Nominee for Administrator of OIRA and “the Administrative State”

Neomi Rao, the nominee for Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, comes from founding the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University.  The home page for the Center has a good summary of the arguments put forward about the ‘Administrative State’ by proponents of its dismantling:

Problems of administrative accountability occur in all three branches of the federal government.

  • Congress often delegates open-ended authority to agencies, but manages waivers and exemptions for its favored groups.
  • Executive Agencies often seize broad authority from open-ended statutes, regulating through informal mechanisms, and imposing requirements through consent decrees and litigation threats.
  • The Judiciary has posed few barriers to this expansion, because current judicial doctrines require significant deference to agency interpretations.

Administration increasingly occurs in informal and unorthodox ways, allowing for the growth of the federal government outside the checks and balances of the Constitution. In practice, compliance with regulatory requirements imposes heavy economic, political, and social costs on individuals and businesses.

The Senate is expected to approve Ms. Rao’s nomination today.  For more background, see Steve Eder’s article in Sunday’s New York Times. UPDATE: Rao was confirmed by the Senate on 10 July 2017.

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