Failure of Dudley Nomination to Advance in Senate Is Good News

Dec. 7, 2006

Failure of Dudley Nomination to Advance in Senate Is Good News

Anti-Regulatory Extremist Should Not Receive Recess Appointment or Be Nominated Again

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The fact that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will not pursue the nomination of industry-backed extremist Susan Dudley to serve as the new Bush administration regulatory czar is positive news, Public Citizen said today. Collins chairs the Senate committee with jurisdiction over the nomination and has confirmed that she will not bring the nomination to a vote.

“It’s good news for the consumer, good news for the environment, good news for workers and good news for everyone who cares about public health and safety,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook.

President Bush nominated Dudley in August to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is a part of the White House Office of Management and Budget. OIRA has enormous power to weaken, delay and eliminate hard-won regulations designed to protect the public in the workplace, on the highways and in their homes. Throughout her career, Dudley has consistently fought against government safeguards and advocated a radical, hands-off approach to regulating corporations, Public Citizen revealed in a report issued in September.

“The White House should recognize just how wrong Dudley is for such a powerful office,” said J. Robert Shull, Public Citizen’s deputydirector for auto safety and regulatory policy and author of the report. “President Bush told the nation after the historic November elections that it was time to set aside vicious partisanship and embark upon a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation. The president now has the opportunity to make good on his promise by not trying to appoint extremists like Dudley.”

In fact, Collins apparently agrees with Public Citizen on this point. The organization told the White House in a letter last month that the president should withdraw the Dudley nomination and find someone more suitable, someone without Dudley’s record of hostility to protections of public health, safety, privacy and the environment. Collins on Wednesday told the Federal Times the same thing: “The president could send the nomination up again next year, but it’s clear that it would be not a good use of the committee’s time.”

“If the president intends to make good on the conciliatory promise of his post-Election Day comments, he should start with the Dudley nomination,” Shull said. “No heavy-handed tactics like going around Congress and giving Dudley a recess appointment. And no more industry-backed radicals with an agenda to dismantle the public’s protections.”

###