Those who rail against “regulations” often cast federal agencies, especially the EPA, as bureaucracies that have exceeded their Congressional authority or are otherwise “out of control.” That is usually not true. But it is true of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an office originally created to reduce paperwork, but which has become one of the most powerful bureaucracies in D.C. Presidents, especially Reagan, have used it for deeply anti-regulatory ends. The Trump administration is already looking to expand its power even more. Trump has issued executive orders that attack regulations simply for the sake of attacking regulations, and that direct agency to make regulatory budget that consider only the costs, not the benefits (i.e. health gains) of regulations. In addition, the new OIRA administrator has argued that its influence should extend to agencies and commissions that are supposed to be independent of the executive, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Here’s the article: “The Federal Agency that Few Americans Have Heard of and Which We All Should Need to Know,”
OIRA is pronounced “Oh-Eye-Rah.” It rhymes with Elvira. Photo Courtesy or the Orange County Archives.