Agencies should be required to assess the problem they’re trying to solve and evaluate alternative solutions before they decide which alternative to pick. The analysis and underlying data should be published for public comment before the agency proposes a rule. And the use of interim final rules that short-circuit this process should be limited to noncontroversial administrative decisions or significant, imminent threats to Americans’ health or safety. Politics should not count as an emergency.
Jerry Ellig is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and co-author of “Beware the Rush to Presumption,” an assessment of the regulatory analysis accompanying the 2010 interim final health care regulations.