Congress and the Executive: Challenging the Anti-Regulatory Narrative
26 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2019 Last revised: 15 Mar 2019
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: Suggested Citation