CEI Congratulates New OIRA Director Paul Ray and Encourages Him to Embrace Reforms

The White House announced today that Paul Ray will be the next director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Previously, Ray served as associate director of OIRA and as counselor to the Secretary of Labor. 

CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews said: 

“Congratulations to Paul Ray, who has a big job ahead of him as the director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB. In this role, he will be the primary restraint the modern regulatory state faces. 

“He will need to maintain the pace of the president’s ‘one-in, two-out’ deregulatory policy, which is more difficult now that the most obvious and least controversial regulations have already been repealed.

“One important way of achieving that would be working with President Trump on a new executive order that at long last addresses ‘regulatory dark matter,’ or agency guidance documents. These count as ‘rules’ for one-in, two-out purposes, and did not undergo notice-and-comment when created, and so don’t need to go back through that process to be revoked. This is a necessary reinforcement to the April 2019 memorandum OMB sent to agencies regarding the submission of guidance.

“He should also work with the president on an executive order that brings ‘independent agencies’ under the OIRA review process. 

“Reinstating the Report to Congress on Regulatory Costs and Benefits, which is required by the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act, would be an important move towards reform, as the last edition contains information only through fiscal year 2016.

“He should work to reinstate the Information Collection Budget, not seen since 2016

“He should end violations of the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act by preparing an aggregate regulatory cost estimate, as the law requires, instead of a partial accounting. This exercise is necessary not because costs can be calculated accurately—they cannot be—but to demonstrate that Congress needs to approve the most costly or controversial agency rules.  

“Lastly, all these reforms must be reported extensively with updates in the annual Report to Congress, as well as the bi-annual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

“By instituting these critical reforms as OIRA director, Paul Ray will have a successful tenure that advances the cause of regulatory reform and puts lawful checks on the administrative state.”