Accurately described as "One of the Worst Ideas from Congress in Decades," plans to advance the Independent Regulatory Analysis Act were this week delayed until November by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
The bill would effectively shift authority for overseeing all independent regulatory agencies -- including the Securities Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and some 20 others -- from Congress to the White House. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) would be empowered to use its version of cost-benefit analysis.
The impact on rulemaking would be immense and utlimately terrible for the American public. In short, its effect would be to further delay already delayed and much-needed regulations:
[W]hen independent agencies promulgate rules deemed “significant” they would be forced to wait up to 90 days as OIRA reviews proposed rules and another 90 days as it reviews final rules—a total of 180 days or half a year. In the case of rules criticized by OIRA, agencies would be likely to take additional time revising rules, adding additional delay to the process.
In our brief explainer, we run down not just the likely consequences of this Act on rulemaking but the truly bad reasoning and empirical work coming from its authors: Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mark Warner (D-VA).
As we approach the fourth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the worst banking crisis since that followed, its worth highlighting the industry that stands to gain the most from this bill's passage. Better Markets released a report this week, a cost-benefit analysis you could say, of a deregulated Wall Street. The total?
As Public Citizen's Amit Narange said, quoted in the New York Times, "those who support preserving the status quo where Wall Street regulates itself will find much to like in this legislation.”
For those who don't: mark your calendars.