August 19, 2021
The Failed Promise of Section 610 Regulatory Reviews
Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires agencies to retrospectively review certain regulations, but it has largely failed to live up to its promise. A variety of problems plague Section 610, argue AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch and Rose Laoutaris in a new analysis, including vague language, minimal scope, poor enforcement, and a lack of consequences. Bosch and Laoutaris contend that Congress should reform this provision by increasing accountability and defining terms more precisely.
Bosch and Laoutaris conclude:
Section 610 of the RFA promised to help systematize retrospective review of federal regulations. Unfortunately, that promise has failed to materialize more than four decades later. Vague definitions of the key term of the RFA have given agencies too much latitude in determining what rules apply. In addition, a lack of consequences for failing to comply means that agencies do not take the process as seriously as they should.