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Cass Sunstein gets committee approval for regulatory post

From the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, a news release announcing the committee's approval by voice vote of Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Advocates of the expansive regulatory state are accepting Sunstein's inevitable confirmation to the post overseeing the Obama Administration's regulatory activities. Still, they're not terribly happy if we are to judge from this report of the confirmation hearing by Rena Steinzor, University of Maryland law professor and president of the Center for Progressive Reform. (We see that Professor Steinzor spent her sabbatical year as the Academic Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council)

On a more discouraging note, Sunstein also reiterated the "principle" of "looking before you leap" as inspiring his view of regulatory policymaking. Since he has written so extensively and so very critically about fundamental regulations to control toxics in the workplace and the environment (as just one example, the EPA rule adopted by Bush II Administrator Christine Todd Whitman to remove arsenic from drinking water), this reiteration of the strange perception that we are in an era of mindless and excessive regulation was disconcerting, to say the least. For most of the last decade, agencies have not been lining up to leap cheerfully into the abyss of overly costly regulation, but rather have been staring into space, immobilized by just such a canard.

And that's the world view of progressive reform. Or is is reformist progressivism?

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.