Integrity of Science

Two House Committees are currently running a concurrent hearing to discuss revised Executive Order 12866, the January 18 Order that looks to delay and constrain several federal agencies’ abilities to implement new regulations and provide guidance to businesses, doctors, and others. E&E Daily (subscription required) reports that the official in charge of implementing the new rule will testify.

Steven Aitken, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, will testify before the (House Judiciary Committee’s) Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee at 2 p.m. The hearing is scheduled hours after a House Science and Technology subcommittee convenes its own discussion on Executive Order 12866.

Details on the Judiciary Committee’s hearing can be found at “Amending Executive Order 12866: Good Governance or Regulatory Usurpation?

House Science and Technology Committee’s Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chair Brad Miller (D-NC) is clearly skeptical of the rule change:

“This order allows political appointees to dictate decisions out of the shadows on health and safety issues, even if impartial scientific experts decide otherwise,” said Chairman Miller. “It’s another avenue for special interests to slow down and prevent agencies from protecting the public.” Source

You can find information on that subcommittee’s hearing here. Each hearing has an identical witness list, although Aitken is only being called before the Judiciary subcommittee.

For one analysis on how this rule change could diminish the role of scientific understanding in federal regulation and recommendations, head over to OMB Watch.