Congress and the Executive: Challenging the Anti-Regulatory Narrative

25 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018 Last revised: 11 Sep 2018

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 17, 2018


Recently, critics of the administrative state have been urging Congress to reassert itself and rein in regulatory action that they maintain is both undesirable as a matter of policy and in violation of constitutional principles. This anti-regulatory position is unwarranted. While regulatory agencies have indeed been more active in recent decades, in part due to increasing gridlock in Congress, the resulting regulatory actions produced large net benefits to the American people and were carried out pursuant to authority delegated by Congress and reviewed by the courts. By contrast, more robust action by Congress, as long as Congress continues to exhibit its current pathologies, is unlikely to be beneficial. Furthermore, in a troubling development, the Trump Administration’s has turned away from cost-benefit analysis in order to carry out its anti-regulatory agenda, disregarding an established bipartisan consensus that stretched back several decades.

Keywords: administrative state, cost-benefit analysis

JEL Classification: H1, H10, K00, K2, K23

Suggested Citation

Revesz, Richard L., Congress and the Executive: Challenging the Anti-Regulatory Narrative (August 17, 2018). NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-42, NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 18-32, Available at SSRN:

Richard L. Revesz (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

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New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
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