We Finally Have a Confirmed Head of the White House Regulatory Office
The Senate approved Richard Revesz’s nomination by voice vote on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s pick to lead the small, but crucial regulatory office that has not had a permanent leader yet under this administration. The Biden White House was way behind his predecessors in nominating an individual for the role.
Revesz “is one of the nation’s leading voices in the fields of environmental and regulatory law and policy,” said the announcement from the White House in September when President Biden nominated him. “He has published 10 books and more than 80 articles in major law reviews and journals advocating for protective and rational climate change and environmental policies, and examining the institutional contexts in which regulatory policy is made.” Revesz was most recently the AnBryce Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at the New York University School of Law.
During a business meeting last month, Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the OIRA administrator position has been “vacant for too long.”
During his confirmation hearing, lawmakers questioned Revesz on the president’s memo on modernizing the regulatory process, agency guidance documents, and the Supreme Court’s decision over the summer that could have major implications for agencies’ issuance of regulations and the use of cost-benefit analysis in the rulemaking process, among other things.
“Revesz is highly respected in the legal academy as an extremely intelligent, perceptive observer of the modern administrative state, who has authored much valuable legal scholarship on regulatory and administrative law,” Carl Tobias, the Williams Chair in Law at the University of Richmond School of Law, told Government Executive, on Wednesday. “He is also a prodigious worker and has broad, relevant experience as a careful, diligent administrator. The nation is lucky that Biden nominated him and the Senate easily confirmed Revesz, who will excel at OIRA.”
Ahead of the hearing, six former OIRA administrators who are Democrats and Republicans (including President Trump’s) released a letter in support of Revesz, while acknowledging some of them have disagreed with him. However, he did have some critics such as James Goodwin, senior policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform.