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Pandemic Relief Rules to Get Fast Track for White House Approval

April 26, 2021, 8:46 PM

White House officials will aim to speed up their sign-off on pandemic-related rules by months as part of an effort to quickly implement the second-biggest economic stimulus in U.S. history.

Agencies should expect the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the regulatory arm of the White House, to take at least five days to approve urgent regulations connected to the $1.9 billion stimulus Congress passed in March, wrote Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a Monday memo. The team will need at least three weeks for less urgent rules, and will work with agencies on weekends if needed, she added.

Young’s memo shortens OIRA’s usual timeline for reviewing regulations and signals the administration wants to move quickly to implement the wide-ranging package.

OIRA coordinates with federal agencies to ensure their major rules align with the president’s priorities and provides a final sign-off before they can be released. The office typically faces a 90-day deadline to approve a rule, though it often misses that target.

Coordination “for these fast-moving policy documents is essential,” Young wrote.

The stimulus provides the biggest health care expansion since the Affordable Care Act and creates a temporary plan to slash the child poverty rate. It also sets aside $350 billion in aid for state and local governments.

The White House will also weigh whether a regulation advances racial equity when evaluating rules, the memo said. President Joe Biden has yet to nominate someone to lead the regulations office.

To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Rozen in Washington at crozen@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com; Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

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