Commentaries & Insights

Our Commentaries and Insights are short-form publications intended to distill long-form research and synthesize current policymaking activity into easily understood concepts.

Happy Birthday, APA!

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) of 1946 celebrated a milestone birthday this year. Its requirements—that regulations be grounded in statutory law and an administrative record that includes public notice-and-comment—have guided executive branch rulemaking without significant amendment for 75 years. It is one of the most important and enduring pieces of legislation ever enacted, yet its passage wasn’t always assured. This commentary, excerpted from my recent Daedalus essay on “Milestones in the Evolution of the Administrative State,” reviews the contentious and messy, yet constructive, process that yielded this landmark act.

ACUS Publishes Draft Recommendations to Improve the Congressional Review Act

A new project at the Administrative Conference of the United States will consider technical reforms to the Congressional Review Act. The recently-issued draft report is an excellent primer on the details of regulatory agency and congressional staff implementation of the CRA. It provides a deep dive analysis of several policy options available to Congress to improve the CRA. ACUS is going through its process to develop draft recommendations now.

Unpacking the OECD Recommendation on Agile Regulatory Governance

On October 6, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation at the ministerial level related to agile regulatory governance. The Recommendation is designed to help governments consider regulatory structures that best bolster innovation in their countries. Overall, this Recommendation signals that the OECD sees regulation focused on promoting innovation as valuable—particularly in light of the rapidly-evolving nature of emerging technologies.

OIRA the Angel; OIRA the Devil

In their most recent book, Reviving Rationality, Mike Livermore and Ricky Revesz build on their record of support for the use of analytical tools, particularly cost-benefit analysis, to evaluate rules prior to their issuance.

Skipping Notice and Comment Over Time

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs makes regulatory review data on interim-final rules easily accessible. Analyzing interim-final rules that have gone through regulatory review over time can shed light on the success of agency efforts to bypass the notice-and-comment process.

A Midyear Review of Regulatory Sentiment and Uncertainty

This commentary provides a midyear review highlighting patterns in the news-based measures of regulatory sentiment and uncertainty during the past months of 2021. Regulatory sentiment reached a historically high point in May, and regulatory uncertainty rose in July.