The Future of White House Regulatory Oversight and Cost-Benefit Analysis

September 13, 2019

For nearly 40 years, the White House has played a preeminent role in the federal rulemaking process, through the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). And OIRA’s primary tool of oversight, from the beginning, has been cost-benefit analysis.

Forty years seems like a long time, but in the history of American institutions, OIRA is actually very young. With that in mind, the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State is bringing together scholars and practitioners to reflect on the current state of OIRA oversight and cost-benefit analysis, and on possible roads ahead for reform and modernization.

As it happens, this issue has a special connection to the Gray Center—or, more specifically, to the Gray Center’s namesake, Ambassador C. Boyden Gray. As Counsel to President Reagan’s Task Force on Regulatory Relief, Ambassador Gray wrote Executive Order 12291, creating OIRA. Since then, OIRA’s role has continued to grow and evolve—most recently, in President Trump’s Executive Order 13771, establishing “regulatory budgets” for agencies.

“OIRA is the cockpit of the regulatory state,” according to President Obama’s OIRA Administrator, Cass Sunstein. Join us for this day-long public policy conference as experts look inside the cockpit, to discuss what’s working well, and what’s due for an upgrade.

To Register, Contact Leah Davenport: lvirbits@gmu.edu

Agenda

All sessions held in Van Metre Hall Auditorium, George Mason University, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201

8:15 – 8:55 am – Registration and BreakfastVan Metre Hall, Multi-Purpose Room

8:55 – 9:00 am – Welcome, Van Metre Hall Auditorium

Adam White, Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

9:00 – 10:15 am – Panel 1: What Role Should OIRA Play?

Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute, and Distinguished Senior Fellow, the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

Susan Dudley, Director, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, and Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University

Sally Katzen, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU School of Law, and Distinguished Senior Fellow, the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

Stuart Shapiro, Associate Dean of Faculty, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

Moderator: Adam White, Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

 10:15 – 10:30 am – Break

 10:30 am – 11:45 am – Panel 2: Cost-Benefit Analysis in Court

William Buzbee, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Bridget C.E. Dooling, Research Professor, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center

Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, Founding Partner, Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC, and Distinguished Senior Fellow, the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

Paul Noe, Vice President of Public Policy, American Forest & Paper Association

Moderator: Kristin Hickman, Harlan Albert Rogers Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School, and Associate Director, Corporate Institute                  

11:45 – 11:55 am – Break

11:55 am – 1:00 pm – Lunch and Keynote

Paul J. Ray, Acting Administrator, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

1:00 – 1:10 pm – Break

1:10 – 2:25 pm – Panel 3: Regulatory Budgets & Executive Order 13771

Anthony Campau, Director of Government Regulation, Clark Hill PLC, and Visiting Fellow in Regulatory Policy, The Heritage Foundation

Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute, and Distinguished Senior Fellow, the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

Richard J. Pierce, Jr., Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School

Jim Tozzi, Managing Director, Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Moderator: Andrew Kloster, Deputy Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

2:25 – 2:40 pm – Break

2:40 – 3:55 pm – Panel 4: Improving Agency Cost-Benefit Analysis

Caroline Cecot, Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Connor Raso, Senior Counsel, Securities and Exchange Commission

Richard A. Williams, Writer and Senior Affiliated Scholar, Mercatus Center, George Mason University and Affiliated Scholar, Utah State Center for Growth and Opportunity

William Yeatman, Research Fellow, Cato Institute

Moderator: Adam White, Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

3:55 pm – Adjourn

Research Papers

  • Transparency in Agency Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Caroline Cecot, Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; and Robert W. Hahn, Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute, Visiting Professor, Smith School, and University of Oxford, and Senior Policy Fellow, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
  • OIRA Past and Future
    Susan Dudley, Director, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, and Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University
  • David versus Godzilla: Bigger Stones
    Jerry Ellig, Research Professor, Regulatory Studies Center, The George Washington University, and Richard Williams, Writer and Senior Affiliated Scholar, Mercatus Center, George Mason University and Affiliated Scholar, Utah State Center for Growth and Opportunity
  • Codifying the Cost-Benefit State
    Brian F. Mannix, Research Professor, GW Regulatory Studies Center, and Bridget C.E. Dooling, Research Professor, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
  • The Ascendancy of the Cost-Benefit State?
    Paul R. Noe, Vice President of Public Policy, American Forest & Paper Association, and John D. Graham, Professor, the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • OIRA’s Dual Role and the Future of Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Stuart Shapiro, Associate Dean of Faculty, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
  • OIRA: Past, Present and Future
    Jim Tozzi, Managing Director, Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
  • Why Two Congressional OIRAs Are Better Than One
    William Yeatman, Research Fellow, Cato Institute