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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Law - Re the nominee to be administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House's OMB

Cindy Skrzycki, who writes the weekly The Regulators column for the Washington Post, writes today about the Bush nominee to be administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the OMB. Some quotes:

Susan E. Dudley , President Bush 's nominee to become his new regulatory review chief, has written extensively about federal rulemaking for years, a miles-long paper trail that is providing ammunition for her opponents.

Business supporters say Dudley, director of regulatory studies at George Mason University's Mercatus Center , is experienced, analytical and dispassionate in expressing her belief that the market will correct most problems and that rules should be subject to a tough cost-benefit test. Public interest groups fighting the nomination say those writings disqualify her for the job.

The new job, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House's Office of Management and Budget , is an important one. It makes final decisions on which major federal regulations are approved, which are sent back for more work and which never see the light of day.

With so much at stake, many participants expect the same kind of fight that the previous administrator, John D. Graham, faced five years ago, one that brought him 37 "nay" votes on his confirmation in the Senate. * * *

Some of her opponents say Dudley is more radical than her predecessor.

"Everyone thought Graham was a true believer, but there were limits beyond where even he would go," said Robert Shull , deputy directory for auto safety and regulatory policy at Public Citizen, which also opposed Graham. "I don't know if there are any limits with Dudley. She has a really distorted view of economics."

"She is rock solid," said Thomas Sullivan , chief counsel in the Small Business Administration 's Office of Advocacy . Sullivan said Dudley's prolific paper trail will be an asset, not a liability, "because it gives amazing insight into her philosophy."

With little time left in this session of Congress, experts on both sides are betting that a Dudley confirmation hearing, not yet scheduled, will become a proxy for the administration's record on regulation but will not lead to a Senate vote. More likely, they say, is a recess appointment after Congress adjourns. If that comes early next year, Dudley would be able to serve until the end of the Bush administration.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 19, 2006 03:08 PM
Posted to Administrative Law | Environment | General Law Related