CEI supports Rep. Foxx’s amendment to halt OMB’s A-4 rewrite

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The House of Representatives will soon consider an amendment from Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to the 2024 Financial Services and General Government spending bill (H.R. 4664) that would prohibit the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from implementing its proposed rewrite of the Circular A-4 Guidance.

A-4 is a crucial oversight measure for new regulations and gives important guidance to federal agencies on cost-benefit analysis. OMB’s proposal would weaken A-4 cost-benefit analysis and make it easier for agency bureaucrats to pursue rulemaking without proper restraint.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute supports Foxx Amendment #71 to the 2024 FSGG appropriations bill. 

CEI Fred L. Smith Fellow in Regulatory Studies Wayne Crews said:

“The Biden administration’s proposed rewrite of Circular A-4 would weaken regulatory cost-benefit analysis and embolden pursuit of President Biden’s “whole-of-government” rulemaking and enforcement agenda.

“When the revision was first put forward earlier this year, I argued that Congress should conduct oversight hearings, pose inquiries, withhold funds, or pass legislation to stop the A-4 rewrite.

“Rep. Virginia Foxx’s amendment would prohibit OMB from implementing the rewrite and protect some of the regulatory guardrails we currently have in place. I urge all members to vote ‘yea’ on Amendment #71 to the FSGG appropriations bill. At the same time, I encourage Congress to keep up the pressure and continue to stymie President Biden’s use and abuse of the administrative state.”

CEI Senior Fellow James Broughel said:

“Rep. Foxx’s amendment to H.R. 4664 shields the federal regulatory process from hasty alterations that would weave political machinations into the fabric of regulatory decision-making. Putting a prudent pause on the administration’s efforts to update OMB Circular A-4 makes sense to avoid further baking ideology and politics into an already problematic cost-benefit analysis framework. Rep. Foxx’s commitment to safeguarding the impartiality and scientific integrity of government regulatory policy should be commended.”

CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis said:

“OMB’s redo of Circular A-4 is a sneaky plan to expand the use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) in federal agency benefit-cost analysis, and increase SCC-based estimates of the purported climate benefits of anti-fossil-fuel regulations.

“The revised Circular A-4 does not address any of the uncertainties that render SCC analysis a hopelessly speculative enterprise, nor any of the methodological biases that make federal SCC analysis a junk-science propaganda tool.

“Congress should defund the OMB’s proceeding until political conditions enable cooler heads to conduct a more balanced and transparent review.”

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