White House Regulatory Actions Overlooked

"The Data Quality Act -- written by an industry lobbyist and slipped into a giant appropriations bill in 2000 without congressional discussion or debate -- is just two sentences directing the [White House Office of Management and Budget] to ensure that all information disseminated by the federal government is reliable. But the Bush administration's interpretation of those two sentences could tip the balance in regulatory disputes that weigh the interests of consumers and businesses," the Washington Post reports in a 3-part series on the direction of regulatory action under George W. Bush. "Environmental and consumer groups say the Data Quality Act fits into a larger Bush administration agenda. In the past six months, more than 4,000 scientists, including dozens of Nobel laureates and 11 winners of the National Medal of Science, have signed statements accusing the administration of politicizing science," the Post writes. The New York Times also recently looked at the regulatory issue, writing, "Allies and critics of the Bush administration agree that the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq have preoccupied the public, overshadowing an important element of the president's agenda: new regulatory initiatives."