U.S. Rulemaking: Recent Reforms and Future Prospects

By Leonardo Parona

The article analyses some of the recent reforms to the organization of the U.S. federal administration and its rulemaking process. The reforms aim at resolving two fundamental issues: the negative impact that administrative rules may have on economic activities, and the lack of accountability that, according to the advocates of these reforms, characterizes most federal agencies. To solve these issues, the reforms first introduce the zero-net-cost and the one-in-two-out policies, and then require the introduction of a Congressional joint resolution of approval for every major rule approved by administrative agencies. Nonetheless, these reforms, which on the institutional level are designed to reinforce the authority of the representative bodies (Congress and the President), seem to make the rulemaking process lengthier and more rigid. This, as a result, could bolster the hazardous trend of relying on «unorthodox» rulemaking.