Policy group warns of secretive ‘regulatory dark matter’ within the federal government

The Washington Times reports on Wayne Crews's research on the practice of federal agencies regulating through guidance documents and blog posts. 

The government can regulate the nation in subtle ways according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is now warning against “regulatory dark matter,” a phenomenon that “devours” the economy, jobs and much more.

The regulators are, in fact, “dodging legally required checks and balances,” according to lead author Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the nonprofit organization. He says the practice is akin to the Obama administration’s pesky habit of imposing unilateral executive actions.

“President Obama has been deservedly criticized for unilateral executive actions that are dreadnoughts of rule-without-Congress. But federal agency guidance documents, memoranda and other regulatory dark matter swell ominously, often out of sight,” Mr. Crews writes.

“Congress needs to focus on the secretive ‘regulatory dark matter’ used by federal agencies to enact new policies and rules,” says Mr. Crews, who notes that over a third of agency rules are issued without a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

Read the full article at the Washington Times