June 6, 2023
The Honorable Richard L. Revesz
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503
Filed at Regulations.gov
Re: Updates to Circular A-4: Regulatory Analysis
Docket ID: OMB-2022-00141
Dear Mr. Revesz:
Business Roundtable has long advocated for a wide variety of reforms to improve the regulatory process, including improvements in how agencies conduct cost-benefit analysis (CBA or BCA).2 We believe the cornerstone of sound, smart regulation is a careful and systematic evaluation of the costs and benefits of proposed and final rules, using the best science available, and clearly disclosing the results of this evaluation, including any inherent uncertainties. CBA is not a perfect tool. But by presenting a careful accounting of how a rule would likely affect innovation, and other economic considerations, a well-conducted CBA is the best way to ensure that the rule will provide net benefits to society.
We applaud the Biden Administration’s reaffirmation of the core principles espoused in Executive Orders (EOs) 12866 and 13563, and we support the principles that underpin OMB’s efforts to update Circular A-4, the primary document that instructs regulatory agencies on how to conduct a CBA. The longevity of these EOs is a testament to their importance and continued relevance, and we are pleased that this administration remains committed to requiring federal agencies to develop high quality analyses that accurately reflect the benefits, costs (including opportunity costs), uncertainties, and overall economic impacts associated with proposed rules. OIRA’s emphasis in revised Circular A-4 and the accompanying preamble on the importance of transparency, specifying appropriate baselines, focusing on areas of market failures, and conducting uncertainty and sensitivity analyses are all positive developments that are directionally consistent with Business Roundtable’s “Smart Regulation” philosophy.3 Just as importantly, the administration’s rejection of various fringe ideas that would weaken agency CBAs will better position federal agencies to develop higher quality rules that accomplish their regulatory intent while minimizing negative impacts on innovation, job creation, and economic growth.4
Business Roundtable is an association of more than 200 chief executive officers (CEOs) of America’s leading companies, representing every sector of the U.S. economy. Business Roundtable CEOs lead U.S.-based companies that support one in four jobs and almost a quarter of GDP. Through CEO-led policy committees, Business Roundtable members develop and advocate directly for policies to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans. As major employers in every state, Business Roundtable CEOs take seriously the responsibility of creating quality jobs with good wages. These leaders join with communities, workers and policymakers to build a better future for the nation and its people.
For 50 years, the membership of Business Roundtable has applied CEO expertise to the major issues facing the nation. Through research and advocacy, Business Roundtable advocates policies to spur job creation, improve U.S. competitiveness and strengthen the economy.