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Sunstein Encourages FCC, Others to Submit Reg Review Plan

An FCC source says commission will implement intent of President's order, but not submit formal plan.

Cass Sunstein, who heads the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Regulatory Affairs, told a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing audience Friday that he had not gotten a review plan from the FCC for addressing the costs and benefits of its regulations, but was hopeful that would be forthcoming from it and other independent agencies.

Independent agencies like the FCC are not subject to the order. "We are implementing [the executive order's] intent," said an FCC source speaking on background, "but as an independent agency we are not formally submitting a plan," he said.

Sunstein said he was encouraging the FCC, FTC and other independent agencies to weigh in, but had, to date, only gotten one page of suggestions from the National Labor Relations Board. "We would very much like the independent agencies to engage in the process," he told Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), saying that none of the 31 preliminary draft plans had come from the FCC, Federal Trade Commission or any other independent agency.

Sunstein is overseeing a widespread regulatory interagency review directed by the president's January executive order requiring government agencies to do a cost-benefit review of regulations for outdated and/or overly burdensome examples on the books, particularly ones that could adversely affect job creation and the economy.

The FCC launched a "comprehensive review" of its regs back in December, Genachowski pointed out to the full Energy & Commerce Committee at an FCC reform hearing last month -- the FCC reviews its regs biennially per congressional directive. He said that the FCC had already eliminated 49 outdated regs and 20 industry data collection requirements that were no longer needed.

Sunstein agreed with one subcommittee member that there was an overregulation problem in the country and that the president's order had already resulted in hundreds of millions in savings.