Explaining Delays in Regulatory Publication

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article

By Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins

After a proposed new regulation finishes winding its way through the procedural morass that is required before it can take effect, it does not immediately have the force of law. The federal government has to formally publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing to the world that a new regulation is afoot.
This ultimate step does not entail any complicated procedure. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when the regulatory state was moving with uncommon alacrity to ensure that copycat hijackings never occurred, regulations issued by a federal agency would get published within hours of being approved by the White House’s Office of Information and regulatory Affairs (OIrA).