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For many years Congress delegated rulemaking authority to executive branch agencies, and that authority was usually exercised without direct Presidential involvement. As complaints against both the volume and the impact of Federal regulations grew in the mid-1970s, each successive President tried to gain more control over the rulemaking activities of his appointed officials. Presidential review began with President Nixon (limited to EPA), was continued by Presidents Ford and Carter, and was pushed even further by President Reagan, who, in E.O. 12291, required that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (more specifically the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)) approve nearly all regulations before they are issued and who, in E.O. 12498, established a longer term regulatory planning process. President Clinton issued E.O. 12866 on September 30, 1993, and revoked E.O.s 12291 and 12498. In E.O. 12866, President Clinton continued OIRA review of agency regulations, but limited that review to "significant regulatory actions." His Order also increased the transparency of the review process. The Bush Administration has not replaced E.O. 12866.

The Presidential review conducted by OIRA applies only to regulations of the executive "dependent" agencies (i.e., the Cabinet Departments and certain other agencies, like EPA). It does not apply to the "independent agencies" such as the FCC, FTC and SEC.

OMB has performed a similar review function with respect to agency legislative proposals for many years.

This glossary was first compiled by The Regulatory Group, Inc., for its training courses more than 20 years ago. It is constantly being amended and revised to stay current with the developments in the Federal regulatory process. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions on how this glossary can be further improved.
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