Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to review significant regulations promulgated by independent agencies. The bill would potentially affect rules proposed by independent agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the CFPB.
The bill, HR 1009 which is titled the “OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act” passed by a vote of 241 to 184. Under the proposal, each agency must submit to OIRA “a regulatory plan that includes each significant regulatory action that the agency reasonably expects to issue in proposed or final form in the following fiscal year or thereafter.”
OIRA, which is part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), an agency within the Executive Office of the President, would have to review any significant regulatory action to determine whether the relevant agency satisfied a lengthy list of requirements. Here are a few examples of the 19 requirements outlined in the bill:
- identifying and assessing the significance of the problem that the regulation is designed to address;
- examining whether existing regulations or laws have created or contributed to the problem and whether those regulations or laws should be modified;
- designing the regulation in a cost-effective to achieve the regulatory objective;
- considering the costs of enforcement and compliance by the Government, regulated entities and the public
- conducting a cost/benefit analysis;
- tailoring the regulatory action to impose the least burden on society;
- complying with all applicable requirements statutory requirements, executive orders, and applicable guidance.
In general, OIRA must complete the review within 90 days of submission. OIRA must complete a 10-day review in the case of a significant regulatory action that is a notice of inquiry, advance notice of proposed rulemaking, or other preliminary regulatory action prior to a notice of proposed rulemaking.
The bill also requires the OIRA Administrator to “periodically convene conferences with representatives of businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and the public to discuss regulatory issues of common concern.”
This bill still needs to pass the Senate. Some observers believe that Republicans may be forced to obtain 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill. Jeff Sovern speculated on the Consumer Law & Policy Blog that “The bill is presumably subject to the filibuster in the Senate, unless the Senate changes those rules.” He also added, “This looks like an attempt to prevent or delay issuance of significant regulations from a body that opposes regulations.”