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White House Regulatory Overseer Should Stand Up for Public Protections

March 3, 2015

White House Regulatory Overseer Should Stand Up for Public Protections

OIRA Administrator Shelanski Testifies Before House Lawmakers Today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When White House regulatory overseer Howard Shelanski testifies before lawmakers today, he should speak out against congressional Republicans’ anti-regulatory agenda, Public Citizen said today.

That agenda is bad for our economy and would undermine the system that helps ensure we have clean water and air, safe food and workplaces, and a stable financial system. Although there is a clear need for greater efficiency and transparency in the rulemaking process, the anti-regulatory bills currently backed by the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives do not solve these problems – and in many cases would make them worse, Public Citizen said.

Shelanski, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), is testifying at 2 p.m. at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform titled “Challenges Facing OIRA in Ensuring Transparency and Effective Rulemaking.”

The bills the GOP is pushing – from the REINS Act to the Regulatory Accountability Act – would slow down the rulemaking process and rig it in favor of big businesses. Critical new public protections already must work their way through a stringent review process that takes years to complete. As the head of a key agency in charge of regulatory review, Shelanski should stand up for federal regulators and the important public health, safety and environmental protections they make possible.

“As the gatekeeper of our nation’s rules, OIRA must push for strong protective regulations that come out expeditiously and ensure there is clarity in the process,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.