CPR Archive for Sidney Shapiro

New CPR Issue Alert on toxics: reform must help, not hinder states and victims’ rights

by Sidney Shapiro | October 28, 2013

In the United States, the framework for safeguarding people and the environment against the dangers of toxic chemicals comprises three mutually reinforcing legal systems: federal regulation, state and federal civil justice systems, and state regulation. Each part of the framework however, has been substantially weakened — the civil justice systems by years of tort "reform," and federal and state regulatory systems by outdated laws and an ongoing campaign by industry and its allies against protective regulation. 

Congress is now considering competing bills to fix one part of this framework—the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the principal statute governing federal regulation of toxic chemicals.  The two bills—the more protective Safer Chemical Act (SCA) and the industry-backed Chemical Safety Improvements Act (CSIA)—both fall short of what is needed to fix TSCA, albeit to a widely varying degree—while weakening the civil justice systems and state regulation even more.  

To be sure, TSCA reform is overdue. The statute’s inadequate data-gathering provisions have prevented the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—the agency charged with implementing TSCA—from obtaining critical information on the potential hazards of the tens of thousands of chemicals currently on the market. And even when the EPA is able to confirm that a chemical is dangerous, TSCA provides the agency with little authority to take meaningful action to protect against the health or environmental risks the substance poses.
...

More Politics, Less Expertise: What OIRA has Wrought

by Sidney Shapiro | October 03, 2013
As indicated by the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12866, which guides the workings of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB, OIRA has become a fixture of the regulatory landscape.  OIRA review of proposed rules is problematic, as other blogs in this series have indicated.   In the Obama administration, however, this is an additional problem. Other offices in the White House, besides OIRA, are more deeply involved in making regulatory decisions than in any other previous administration. ...

The SBA’s Office of Advocacy Criticism of Its ‘Crain and Crain’ Report: A Dollar Short and A Day Late

by Sidney Shapiro | October 01, 2013
Call it buyer’s remorse. The Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is publicly—albeit meekly—tiptoeing away from a now-infamous report that it commissioned, in which economists Nicole Crain and Mark Crain purported to find that federal regulations cost the economy $1.75 trillion in 2008. After being roundly criticized by CPR, the Congressional Research Service, and others, SBA’s Office of Advocacy now explains, referring apparently to the $1.75 trillion figure that “the findings of the study have been taken out of ...

What We Will Be Listening for at the Howard Shelanski Confirmation Hearing

by Sidney Shapiro | June 11, 2013
The confirmation hearing for Howard Shelanski, President Obama’s pick to serve as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is set to take place Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.  If confirmed, Shelanski would become the Administration’s new “Regulatory Czar,” a description that indicates the significant influence OIRA’s administrator has concerning what agency rules look like and, indeed, whether those rules are issued at all. Shelanski’s confirmation hearing comes at ...

Talking Through Their Hats: The Opposition to President Obama’s D.C. Circuit Court Nominees

by Sidney Shapiro | June 05, 2013
In the old television series, "Cheers," barfly and braggart Cliff Clavin was a guy who was forever "talking through his hat," offering up an endless supply of ridiculous factoids and explanations. Cliff made for good television, but the same cannot be said for the Senate Republicans who seem to be borrowing his approach. That's what's at work with the Republican effort to block President Obama’s nomination of three distinguished lawyers to fill longstanding vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of ...

Statement of CPR Scholar Sid Shapiro on President Obama's Nominations to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals

by Sidney Shapiro | June 04, 2013
Today, President Obama announced three nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The President nominated law professor Cornelia T.L. Pillard, appellate lawyer Patricia Ann Millett and federal district judge Robert L. Wilkins to the Court. The Court has had many longstanding vacancies, including one slot that was filled when the Senate confirmed Sri Srinivasan for the post in late May. If confirmed, the President's new nominations would fill all remaining vacancies. Below is Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Sidney ...

Rep. Duckworth's Small Business Paperwork Relief Act is a Flawed Solution for the Wrong Problem

by Sidney Shapiro | March 28, 2013
Rep. Tammy Duckworth appears to have been caught up in the anti-regulatory fervor that has continued to afflict the House of Representatives ever since the GOP took control there in 2010.  On Monday, Representative Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, announced a plan to address what she said was a problem: “For businesses with less than twenty employees, the annual cost of federal regulation can be over $10,000 per worker.”  But before we get to the proposed solution, there’s a problem with ...

CPR Report: Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy Dances to Big Business's Tune

by Sidney Shapiro | January 29, 2013
Congress created the Office of Advocacy (Office) of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to represent the interests of small business before regulatory agencies.   It recognized that, unlike larger firms, many, if not most, small businesses can’t afford to lobby regulators and file rulemaking comments because of the expense involved.  The Office was supposed to fill this gap by ensuring that agencies account for the unique concerns of small businesses when developing new regulations.  Instead, as new reports from the Center ...

New CPR Issue Brief: Regulatory 'Pay-Go' Caps Protections but Not Harms to the Public

by Sidney Shapiro | October 02, 2012
When the government succeeds in protecting the public from harms, is that good news – or something to be atoned for by eliminating other successful protections? If the Department of Labor issues a new rule on construction crane safety, saving dozens of lives each year, should the agency also be required to eliminate an existing safety regulation? A policy of regulatory “pay-go” would prohibit agencies from issuing new rules, no matter how beneficial they are, unless they first identify and ...

Limiting the Rights of Medical Malpractice Victims: House GOP Leaders Make a Bad Idea Worse

by Sidney Shapiro | March 20, 2012
House GOP leaders may vote as early as this week on legislation that would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a cost-saving measure that was established as part of the national health care reform Congress passed in 2010.  House leaders have also attached national restrictions on the right of patients to recover damages for medical malpractice (H.R. 5) to the IPAB bill, with the joint bill being called H.R. 5.  The sponsors of the bills allege that the savings ...

The Regulatory Freeze Bill: Cynical Political Posturing That Would Harm the Economy

by Sidney Shapiro | March 19, 2012
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary committee is marking up the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act (H.R. 4078), which would block virtually any “significant regulatory action”—basically, any step toward promulgating any regulation that has a large economic impact or is otherwise controversial— as long as unemployment is over 6 percent.   Rather than support initiatives that actually help the unemployed, a band of House Republicans prefer another cheap political trick here.  The reality is that a moratorium would leave millions of Americans more ...

New CPR Paper Takes on Defensive Medicine Myths and the Unsupported Case for Medical Malpractice 'Reform'

by Sidney Shapiro | March 08, 2012
In 1975, Indiana lawmakers joined a small but growing group of state legislatures passing aggressive medical malpractice “reforms.”  Indiana’s law capped damages that victims of medical malpractice can recover at $500,000 and eliminated damages for pain-and-suffering altogether, Frank Cornelius, a lobbyist for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, played a role in helping pass this legislation.  Twenty years later, Cornelius suffered a tragic series of negligent medical errors that left him wheelchair-bound, dependent on a respirator to breathe, and requiring a ...

What Does It Mean that the Public Overwhelmingly Supports Specific Types of Regulation, But Questions 'Regulation' in General?

by Sidney Shapiro | February 28, 2012
A new Pew public opinion poll published last week shows substantial public support for specific types of regulation, but skepticism about regulation in general. While 70-89% of the public would either expand or keep current levels of five specific types of regulation, 52% say government regulation of business usually does more harm than good as compared to 40% who think regulating business is necessary to protect the public interest. The five types of regulation were car safety and efficiency, environmental ...

Looking in the Wrong Place: Senators Warner and Moran Join House GOP Seeking to Codify Cost-Benefit Analysis, an Erroneous Remedy for Anemic Economic Growth

by Sidney Shapiro | December 29, 2011
Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced a bill earlier this month that proposes to change regulatory and tax policies with the goal of encouraging more entrepreneurial activity and creating more jobs.  The legislation contains a grab-bag of proposals, such as allowing more aliens with professional expertise in stem cell research to become permanent residents and extending an income tax credit for certain small businesses.  I can’t speak to the merits of these and other proposals in the ...

House Passes REINS Act; CPR's Shapiro Responds

by Sidney Shapiro | December 07, 2011
Within the last hour, the House of Representatives approved the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act – the REINS Act. The bill was among House Republicans’ top priorities for the year, and they’ve made it and a series of other anti-regulatory bills a centerpiece of their agenda. The plain purpose of the REINS Act is to make it all but impossible for the nation’s regulatory agencies to adopt regulations that would enforce a host of protective laws, ...

Sen. McCaskill Joins the Republican Attack on Regulations with Misguided Bill

by Sidney Shapiro | December 07, 2011
On Tuesday, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced the Bipartisan Jobs Creation Act, legislation that offers a number of proposals for jump-starting the economy.  The bill includes two provisions that would hobble the regulatory system without generating the new jobs that the Senators seek. If these provisions were enacted, the bill would block regulatory safeguards that protect all Americans and our environment. The bill’s regulatory provisions would make it harder for the EPA and other regulatory agencies ...

Even More Evidence Disputes Claims that Regulation Is Stalling Economic Recovery, But Regulatory Opponents Continue to Press Their (False) Claims

by Sidney Shapiro | November 29, 2011
Republicans in the House have spent much of the fall trying to blame regulation for the nation’s slow economic recovery.  The fact that there is no reasonable evidence to back up this claim is apparently not a concern for the regulatory opponents.  Moreover, regulatory opponents skip entirely over the impacts of the failure to regulate, pretending that while regulation imposes costs on the economy, the failure to regulate does not.  Now, there is even more evidence of that regulation cannot ...

The Regulatory Accountability Act: Putting the Screws to Health, Safety and Environmental Regulation

by Sidney Shapiro | September 23, 2011
Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) once remarked, “I’ll let you write the substance … you let me write the procedure, and I’ll screw you every time.” Legislation introduced yesterday in the Senate by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and in the House by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) to amend the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) proves Rep. Dingell knew what he was talking about. The APA is the law that governs the way the ...

Also from Sidney Shapiro

Sidney A. Shapiro holds the Fletcher Chair in Administrative Law at the Wake Forest University School of Law and is the Associate Dean for Research and Development. He is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Progressive Reform.

Environmental Justice Is Worth Fighting For

Shapiro | Oct 02, 2018 | Environmental Policy

Regulating the Green Economy

Shapiro | Sep 24, 2018 | Regulatory Policy

Old and New Capture

Shapiro | Jul 07, 2016 | Regulatory Policy

The Center for Progressive Reform

455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150-513
Washington, DC 20001
info@progressivereform.org
202.747.0698

© Center for Progressive Reform, 2015