CPR Member Scholar Noah Sachs published an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning critiquing the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act. That bill would allow the White House to review rules proposed by independent federal agencies. Writes Sachs:
Imagine if important government agencies, purposely designed by Congress to be insulated from political pressure, suddenly had to bend to White House wishes.
Campaign contributors might then try to influence Nuclear Regulatory Commission decisions on safety standards for aging nuclear plants. Big Wall Street donors might have a backdoor route to kill Securities and Exchange Commission regulations on stock fraud.
While the new bill aims for transparency, we're likely to get a black hole of decision-making instead. Far from improving government, the bill will make important government decisions subject to endless internal review and closed-door meetings with industry lobbyists.
Sachs argues that Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who has supported independent agencies in the past (Senator Warner voted in favor of the Dodd-Frank bill, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), should not be co-sponsoring a bill that will effectively undermine them.