Public Comments & Testimonies

Scholarly analysis of the potential effects of particular rulemakings from federal agencies, and advice to Congress on how to improve the rulemaking process by GW Regulatory Studies Center scholars.


"Your input and expertise during the drafting of the Early Participation in Regulations Act of 2019 and SMART Act of 2019 was invaluable."

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Joint statement


Fake It Till They Make It: How Bad Actors Use Astroturfing to Manipulate Regulators, Disenfranchise Consumers and Subvert the Rulemaking Process

For the past several years, along with colleagues at GW, I have been conducting research on mass comment campaigns in agency rulemaking. By mass comment campaigns, we mean collections of identical and near-duplicate comments sponsored by organizations and submitted by group members and supporters

STB Petition to Consider Benefit-Cost Analysis

On July 8, 2019, the STB decided to delay consideration of a petition asking the board to adopt a procedural rule that would require benefit-cost analysis in certain board rulemakings. On November 4, 2019, the STB solicited further information from the public about specific methods that could be used for benefit-cost analysis of rules related to economic regulation of freight railroads. The STB is prudent to explore methods for improving its economic analysis of regulatory proposals—as several other independent agencies have done in recent years.

GSA's Mass and Fake Comments Meeting

Over the last few years, we've been, with a bunch of colleagues at George Washington University, working on a project on mass comment campaigns and agency rulemaking. And I want to spend a few minutes sharing what we've been up to, what we've found. And what we think some of the broader implications of the research are, but for the larger interests we're discussing today.

FDIC's Framework for Analyzing the Effects of Regulatory Actions

The FDIC is considering a more structured approach to economic analysis that informs regulatory decisions. The RFI seeks comment on an approach that is based on Circular A-4, the Office of Management and Budget’s peer-reviewed guidance for conducting regulatory impact analysis (RIA) under Executive Order 12,866, as well as economic analysis guidance issued by other financial regulators.

STB's Railroad Revenue Adequacy

The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 deregulated most freight rail rates but left the Interstate Commerce Commission (and now the STB) with responsibility for ensuring that rail rates are “just and reasonable” for shippers who lack good transportation alternatives to a single railroad.

STB's Rate Review and Market Dominance -- Reply Comment

In two related proceedings, the STB has proposed a streamlined approach to assessing whether a railroad has market dominance and a final offer process for small rate disputes.

STB's Market Dominance and Final Offer Rate Review

The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 deregulated most freight rail rates but left the Interstate Commerce Commission (and now the STB) with responsibility for ensuring that rail rates are “just and reasonable” for shippers who lack good transportation alternatives to a single railroad.

FDA's Proposed Rule on Mammography Standards

Early detection of breast cancer can save lives. Mammography is one of the screening tools that has contributed to reductions in breast cancer mortality. FDA has a unique role in mammography and should be commended for proposing to update its rules, particularly for those updates that reflect new technologies, such as the provisions related to digital mammography that update old regulatory terms like “x-ray film.”

From Beginning to End: An Examination of Agencies' Early Public Engagement and Retrospective Review

My testimony reviews the problems necessitating the practices required by your legislation and addresses and examines each bill’s requirements and impacts. It concludes with some crosscutting comments and observations.