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Trump takes another swing at controlling independent agencies

Joe Mont | April 15, 2019

The Trump administration is trying a new strategy to seize control over independent agencies’ rulemaking processes and the guidance they issue. Traditionally, the President has only had a bully pulpit to exert influence on the rules these agencies pursue.

The Office of Management and Budget has published a memo for all federal agencies telling them that effective May 11, they must submit all proposed rules and regulatory guidance to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. OIRA bureaucrats then rule on whether a proposed rule is “major” or “minor,” according to parameters of the Congressional Review Act, a favorite tool of Republicans for squashing Democrat-led legislation and regulation.

The April 11 memo kickstarting the process was authored by OMB Acting Director Russell Vought.

“The Constitution vests all Federal legislative power in Congress,” he wrote. “In our system...

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