Spotted looking on as a private citizen at a Wednesday Senate confirmation hearing was former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who stepped down in February.
Leibowitz was at the Senate Dirksen building to watch his former colleague, Howard Shelanski, get grilled about his agenda should he become President Obama’s regulatory chief. Leibowitz agreed to speak to Government Executive about the ongoing debate over whether independent regulatory agencies should be subjected to the same cost-benefit reviews as other agencies currently are.
“The FTC is bipartisan and consensus-driven,” he said, “and it’s to the credit of both the Bush and Obama administrations that they both left us alone.”
Asked about the controversial proposal of Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., to move the FTC out of its historic headquarters at Pennsylvania and Constitutional avenues in Washington to enlarge space for the National Gallery of Art, Leibowitz said, “My understanding is that there wasn’t much support for his proposal.”
No decision yet, the lawyer and veteran congressional adviser added cheerfully, on what new job awaits him.