An Introduction to a Regulatory Budget

July 8, 2016

Richard J. Pierce, Jr.

Read this Testimony (House Committee on the Budget)


Thank you, Chairman Price, Ranking Member Van Hollen, and distinguished Members of the House Committee on the Budget, for the opportunity to testify today on An Introduction to a Regulatory Budget.

My name is Richard J. Pierce, Jr. I am Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law at the George Washington University School of Law and a Senior Fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States. For 39 years my teaching, research, and scholarly writing has focused on administrative law and government regulation. I have written 125 articles and 20 books on those subjects. My books and articles have been cited in scores of judicial opinions, including over a dozen opinions of the United States Supreme Court.

I have long supported a regulatory budget, but it needs to be carefully designed and implemented. As I will explain later in my testimony, we already have a regulatory budget in the form of Executive Orders issued by Presidents of both parties that are implemented by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That regulatory budget is well-designed and well-implemented.

There are versions of a regulatory budget that would harm the nation. One version of a regulatory budget that would harm the nation is a regulatory budget that would limit the total cost of the rules that an agency can impose on the firms that it regulates. The other version that would harm the nation would require an agency to rescind an existing rule that imposes costs equal or greater to the cost of a proposed new rule at or before the time that it issues the new rule.