Systemic Risk Council Letter on “Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2012”

Systemic Risk Council

November 19, 2012

Dear Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins:

We are writing to thank the Committee for deciding to delay the markup of S. 3468, the “Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2012” to allow more time to vet this proposal.   We have strong concerns about this legislation, particularly its impact on agency independence and effectiveness, and we commend you for withholding it.

While we share the goals of the bill’s sponsors of bringing even greater quality and accountability to the rulemaking process, we believe subjecting independent agency rules to broad executive agency review and assessment would fundamentally change the role of independent agencies and have significant negative unintended consequences.  Any modest improvements in individual agency processes that might be achieved through this significant change would be greatly outweighed by the public costs that flow from even slower agency action, the significant potential for abuse and a substantially more politicized rulemaking process.