CMC met with White House staff to discuss inadequate cost-benefit analysis in CFTC rules

Last week, CMC staff met with White House staff at the OMB’s (Office of Management & Budget) OIRA (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) division. Representing OIRA were Jeff Weis, Associate Administrator (the second ranking political appointee at the division) and Kevin Neyland, Deputy Administrator (the top career civil servant at the division).

CMC brought up a letter that CFTC Commissioner O’Malia had recently sent to OMB Director Zients, complaining that the CFTC does an inadequate job of its cost-benefit analyses, despite statements from President Obama that all agencies in his administration are required to do so. OIRA’s response to us was that they noted our concerns and will discuss them with the CFTC. However, they said, they do not have the ability to directly order the CFTC because the CFTC is a statutorily independent agency.

CMC believes nonetheless that this legal limitation notwithstanding, the White House can use its bully pulpit with the CFTC if it so chooses. In order to prod OIRA into action, CMC plans to send to OIRA a follow-up letter to Comm. O’Malia’s letter within the next several days. CMC will actively explore the possibility of other trade associations representing commercial end users to sign on to such a letter.

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