Monday, January 29, 2007

A regulatory expert dissects bad Bush scheme

Previously we raised a warning about a new White House executive order that puts more power in the hands of the White House regulatory office -- to the possible detriment of agencies like the EPA charged with protecting public health.

A real expert on regulations has chimed in, warning that the order "opens another front in this administration's assault on congressional power."

Lisa Heinzerling, of Georgetown University's law school, notes that "Judging regulations implementing these laws based on whether the regulations respond to a "market failure" misunderstands the premises of many of the laws Congress enacts.

"Doing so also puts the White House in the position of the legislator, asking, as if for the first time, is this a problem worth addressing? The executive order does not even come into play unless Congress has passed a statute finding that a particular problem is indeed worth addressing. The new version of the executive order invites -- even more, directs -- agencies to secondguess that congressional judgment."

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