Sunstein: No Additional Agency Funding Expected for Regulatory Look Back

by Ben Somberg

In case anyone thought the White House would seek additional appropriations to hire new agency staffers to do the regulatory look back work, it sure sounds like a no. Here's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein speaking on Federal News Radio:

"Agencies are in the best position to make choices about which rules to review and justify whether they need to be modified" he said. "The Executive Order makes clear that the look back process will occur with full understanding of the agency's priority settings and resource constraints in a tough budgetary environment. So we expect the agencies will take this process very seriously but do so in way that recognizes resources are not unlimited."

Sunstein said agencies will have to find a way to do the look back based on the resources they have already.

"I don't anticipate any additional budgetary assistance for the look back," he said. "We do anticipate a rule of reason where agencies will be expected to make their own choices about how to balance the cost because in many of the agencies there either is some process of look back and because of all agencies there is considerable expertise about the existing set of programs, we don't think this will require huge resources to be invested."

Presumably, as part of this process some agencies will identify some rules they might rework or ditch. Doing so will take time and resources, too.

So to recap: agency staffers who are currently working to protect public health and safety will have some of their time diverted toward the important business of making sure we accommodate industry’s deregulatory agenda.



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