Today, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing on two key Trump appointees.
Trump nominated Russ Vought as the Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget. Vought’s primary duty will be to assist Mick Mulvaney with the budget. Vought will also oversee eight offices inside OMB. These eight offices are General Counsel, Legislative Affairs, Strategic Planning and Communications, Economic Policy, Legislative Reference, Budget Review, and Performance and Personnel Management.
Throughout the hearing, the Democratic members of the committee attacked Vought for stating that any request for information would be reviewed by the department’s attorney to make sure the request is proper. The Democratic members think that any request must be answered. Based on how the Democrats have been flooding Trump’s nominees with tons of paperwork before they can be approved, the Democrats should not be surprised that Trump’s nominees want to check with their lawyers before they reply to a request for information.
Trump also nominated Naomi Rao as Administrator to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). In introducing Rao to the position of OIRA Administrator, Senator Orrin Hatch stated that the American regulation system is broken. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is one of the most powerful offices in D.C. that no one outside the Beltway has ever heard of. Should the full Senate consent in Rao’s nomination, she will oversee and coordinate proposed regulations for Federal Agencies.
OIRA conducts regulatory reviews of all significant regulations. One of the duties of the Administrator of OIRA is to help ensure that Trump’s agenda on regulatory reform is enforced throughout the federal agencies.