Letters to the Administration: Letter Urging OMB and OIRA to Implement the January 20th Memo on Modernizing Regulatory Review

View or download a PDF of the letter here.

November 17, 2021

Acting Director Shalanda Young
White House Office of Management and Budget
725 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20503

cc: Acting Administrator, Sharon Block, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; Deputy Director for Management, Jason Miller, White House Office of Management and Budget


Re: Implementation of January 20, 2021, Memorandum on Modernizing Regulatory Review

Dear Acting Director Young:

We are a diverse group of sixty-three (63) organizations and individuals representing millions of Americans that support strong and effective regulations to protect the public. During the last several months, we have been pleased to see the Biden administration lay out its ambitious and visionary regulatory agenda while moving aggressively to undo the damage from the harmful “regulatory rollback” agenda of the previous administration. We applaud the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for pledging to play a constructive role in this progress.

We are concerned, however, that the antiquated and biased system of regulatory review, as currently implemented by OMB and OIRA, risks becoming a barrier to continued progress on the administration’s future regulatory priorities that are designed to protect the American public. Thus, we encourage you to prioritize implementation of President Biden’s memorandum regarding “Modernizing Regulatory Review” issued on Inauguration Day (hereinafter “the Biden memorandum”).

We strongly agree with the Biden memorandum’s call for fundamental reforms to the OIRA regulatory review process. In particular, as the Biden memorandum points out, the current approach to regulatory review disregards important values like human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations; fails to account for a wide range of regulatory benefits; is insufficiently attentive to distributional concerns and can thus inappropriately burden disadvantaged or marginalized communities; discourages stronger protections instead of proactively promoting them; and is marked by costly delays and a lack of transparency.

Not only are reforms to fix such flaws long overdue, they will also enhance the quality of the administration’s regulatory decision-making and ensure that the OIRA regulatory review process advances regulatory policies that improve the lives of the American people.

We therefore urge the administration to begin this process immediately, as called for in the Biden memorandum.

In implementing the Biden memorandum, we ask that the administration give particular attention to ensuring that the process is as inclusive as possible and offers meaningful opportunities for the public to participate. At a minimum, we encourage the administration to initiate a public engagement process that allows for robust participation, potentially including a comment period that doesn’t unduly delay the reform recommendations. We strongly encourage the administration to aggressively reach out to members of historically disadvantaged or marginalized communities to solicit their input.

The Biden administration has a unique opportunity to rebuild the regulatory system to work for the American people. We look forward to working with the administration to see the implementation of the Biden memorandum reach a successful conclusion.