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Administrative Conference of the US counsel: Many final rules were not submitted to Congress

In 2014, Curtis Copeland, special counsel to the Administrative Conference of the United States, published an independent report detailing the vast number of regulations that were not reported to Congress. The report was consistent with earlier studies and reports Mr. Copeland had prepared for GAO and the Congressional Research Service.  His 2014 report states:

During the first half of 2014, federal agencies submitted 835 final rules to GAO – less than half of those published during this period, and 647 fewer rules than would have been submitted at the 88% rate of submission. Although most of the missing rules from 2012 through the first half of 2014 appear to be routine or informational in nature, they also included at least six rules that were considered “major” under the CRA (e.g., rules with a $100 million annual effect on the economy) and at least 37 other rules that were considered “significant” under Executive Order 12866.

The report also agrees that regulations not submitted to Congress cannot legally take effect.

Although the report was housed for over two years on the Administrative Conference’s website and received press attention in major national newspapers, it was removed in recent weeks. The ACUS research chief informed this site that it was removed because it is not an officially-commissioned ACUS report; the chief did not object to it being published elsewhere, nor did he indicate that anyone at ACUS questioned the validity of its special counsel’s scholarship. We don’t know why such an important work, cited previously by the press, was not retained on this independent agency’s website with a new disclaimer regarding its origin, but the author stands by his research today.

You can read an archived PDF file of it here.

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