Regulatory Update – Key Regulatory Official in Obama White House to Step Down

Last week, Cass Sunstein, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), announced his resignation. OIRA is the division of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that reviews all regulations proposed by federal agencies. The office has substantial power in its ability to approve, amend, or stop regulations from being finalized. While the Obama Administration has been extremely aggressive on the regulatory front, Mr. Sunstein is a proponent of cost-benefit analyses, which was appreciated by the business community. Upon the announcement of Mr. Sunstein’s resignation, House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA), who has made fighting regulatory overreach a central theme of his chairmanship, said in a statement, “While I’m disappointed that this Administration has not made more substantial efforts to cut red tape and create jobs, outgoing Administrator Cass Sunstein appeared to recognize the harm overly burdensome regulations inflict on economic growth and job creation—although he was not able to stop the tsunami of regulations enacted by the Obama Administration.” The only reason provided for Mr. Sunstein’s resignation was the news that he will return to his position at Harvard Law School. OMB General Counsel Boris Bershteyn will replace Mr. Sunstein on an interim basis.