GAO Faults Murky Rulemaking Process

Much of the White House's efforts to put its pro-business stamp on federal regulations is kept out of the public eye, The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reported, citing a government study being circulated on Capitol Hill. Because informal talks between federal agencies that craft regulations and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) often aren't well documented, the rulemaking process often is unclear, according to the General Accounting Office, which acts as the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO also found that OMB steers regulations in the direction favored by industry lobbyists after meeting with them, the Journal said.

John Graham, head of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, was singled out in the report because of his powerful influence and his penchant for changing rules to make them more palatable to industry.