Notice & Comment

When Might President Biden Nominate an OIRA Administrator?

President Biden’s nominee to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, wrapped up her second of two confirmation hearings today. Regulation was a topic in both hearings. When might we expect to see a nomination from President Biden for the Administrator of the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)? Folks from all sides are watching this closely, because it’s an important job.

Dear reader, I can’t tell you the future but I can make a table of what happened in the past. Here’s a snapshot of the timeline for nomination and confirmation of a new president’s first OIRA administrator:

Received in the SenateConfirmation HearingConfirmed
Sally Katzen
(Clinton Admin.)
April 21, 1993May 19, 1993May 28, 1993
(unanimous consent)
John D. Graham
(G.W. Bush Admin.)
March 28, 2001May 17, 2001July 19, 2001
Cass R. Sunstein
(Obama Admin.)
April 20, 2009May 12, 2009September 10, 2009
(57-40 following cloture)
Neomi Rao
(Trump Admin.)
May 18, 2017June 7, 2017July 10, 2017
(54-41 following cloture)
Source: Nominations Search

This suggests that, if the Biden Administration follows the timeline of prior administrations, we shouldn’t expect to see a nomination until March at the soonest, and perhaps even later in the spring. A quick search suggests that at least sometimes the nominations get announced at least a month or so ahead of the nomination being sent to the Senate.

I pulled this info for the dates, but the vote tallies are interesting, too. They show how the votes narrowed over time, requiring cloture votes in the two prior administrations. Perhaps a reflection of polarization and the way regulation & OIRA have become more politically salient over the years. The table above doesn’t include the administrators nominated later in a president’s term, but it would be interesting to look at all of them, including going back to the Carter Administration when OIRA was created. A project for another day.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email