Notice & Comment

A Regulatory Budget Is the Linchpin for the Creation of a National Constituency for OIRA, by Jim Tozzi

IWP News has published a thought-provoking series of articles dealing with “the deregulatory efforts of the Trump administration.” One such article reports on the views from third parties on the regulatory budget:

White House efforts to establish a first-time “regulatory budget” would be assisted by the development of a cross-sector, “national constituency” in support of regulatory reviews conducted by the Office of Management and Budget.

OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will require cross-sector support as OIRA expands its product line from the review of individual regulations to the implementation of a regulatory budget and possibly review of the regulations issued by independent agencies.”

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has existed for nearly four decades. Notwithstanding the considerable impact it has had on the regulatory state, OIRA has to realize that its historical and prevailing daunting challenges likely cannot be addressed without a broad-based national constituency.

Consider, for example, that:

  • OIRA’s budget has been decreased by more than 50% from its initial level and attempts to increase its funding are a major undertaking;
  • OIRA has considerable difficulty in ensuring that all the organizations within the Executive Branch live by the same rules, a case in point being OIRA’s move to have IRS regulations be subject to centralized regulatory review New York Times; and
  • OIRA’s political clout is wanting if and when it moves to subject the regulations of independent agencies to centralized regulatory review.

The creation and execution of a regulatory budget will eventually require OIRA to promote the implementation of a number of regulations, constituting a major change from its negative image of resisting regulation. This realization could lead to the formation of a national constituency for OIRA, a necessary requirement if it is to be successful in addressing the three issues identified above.


Jim Tozzi served as a regulatory official in five consecutive presidential administrations starting with Lyndon Johnson and ending with Ronald Reagan. He is presently the head of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness.

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