As Sunstein Departs, Experts Scrutinize White House 'Black Hole'

"The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is often called the 'black hole' of federal rules, a White House office where proposed regulations can enter in one form and exit months later in another."

"But yesterday, former OIRA officials argued that the office is not as secretive -- or political -- as its reputation suggests.

'It is an amazing thing to come to work every day and be blasted by the left and right simultaneously,' said Michael Fitzpatrick, who served as an associate administrator in the office under President Obama. 'What's interesting is when you have the right and the left both attacking you, it's a pretty good indication you're doing your job.'

Indeed, liberal and environmental groups often criticize the office for holding up rules, while conservatives have targeted it as ground zero for a deluge of 'job-killing' regulations. But Fitzpatrick said the office is made up of mostly career civil servants, who may be a 'pain in the rear' to agencies but have no political aspirations."

Emily Yehle reports for Greenwire August 21, 2012.
 

Source: Greenwire, 08/22/2012