Circular A-4 Peer Reviewer comments released, and more
Circular A-4 Peer Reviewer comments released, and more

Regulation Digest
August 23, 2023
Vol. 12, No. 34
Editor: Nate Thompson
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Marketplace of Ideas

GW Regulatory Studies
Mercatus Center
The Value of Intermediaries for GSE Loans, Josh Bosshardt et al. 
Pew Trusts
R Street
- Event: Estimating Costs, 9/7
Initial Coin Offerings: A Review, Evgeny Lyandres & Daniel Rabetti
The Regulatory Review
Urban Institute
American Action Forum
- Podcast: Does Big Tech Need a Reboot?, Brent Orrell et al. 
American Prospect
Bipartisan Policy Ctr.
Cato Institute
Federalist Society
- Video: Examining the SEC's Approach Towards Crypto, Paul Grewal et al.
Heritage Foundation
Inst. for Policy Integrity

Agency Rulemaking Highlights

Notable Actions

Circular A-4 Peer Review Released
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the comments of external peer reviewers of the Draft Circular A-4: Regulatory Analysis. Peer reviewers—including our own Regulatory Studies Center Co-Director Joseph Cordes—were charged with responding individually to a series of questions and topics covering notable updates in the draft, and making recommendations for ensuring that the guidance and its methodologies are supported by the academic literature in economics and other relevant disciplines.
New CAFE Standards
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing new fuel economy standards that increase at a rate of 2 percent per year for passenger cars and 4 percent per year for light trucks for model years 2027–31; and standards for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans that increase at a rate of 10 percent per year for model years 2030–2035. NHTSA projects that the proposed standards would require an industry fleet-wide average for passenger cars and light trucks of roughly 58 miles per gallon (mpg) in model year 2032, and an average for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans of roughly 2.6 gallons per 100 miles in model year 2038. Comments due October 16. 
Updating the Davis-Bacon Act Regulations
The Department of Labor issued a final rule updating regulations under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts to "promote compliance, provide appropriate and updated guidance, and enhance their usefulness in the modern economy." The law, enacted in 1931, requires the payment of locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits on federal contracts for construction. Effective October 23.
Promoting Affordable Broadband Services through the Connect America Fund
The Federal Communications Commission issued a notice of inquiry proposing a long term vision for next steps to achieving its goal of ensuring all consumers have access to affordable and reliable broadband service. The proposal seeks comment on how to reform the commission’s high-cost programs so that it can continue to efficiently promote broadband deployment and meaningfully support networks long term in the face of a significantly changing broadband landscape. Comments due October 23.
Concurrently, the commission seeks comment on how it can address the immediate needs of legacy rate-of return support mechanisms, while balancing the objectives of maintaining its commitment to supporting broadband at evolving levels of service and also avoiding unnecessary duplication of support in light of other available funding programs. Comments due October 2. 
Responsibilities of Statistical Agencies
OMB is proposing regulations pursuant to Title III of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act) that provide direction to statistical agencies and units. The proposal would also provide direction to other federal agencies to enable, support, and facilitate statistical agencies in carrying out four fundamental responsibilities: produce and disseminate relevant and timely statistical information, conduct credible and accurate statistical activities, conduct objective statistical activities, and ensure the confidentiality and exclusive statistical use of data collected for statistical purposes. Comments due October 2. 
Incorporating the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act
The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing changes required by the United States Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 to provide regulatory clarity to applicants seeking licenses for space flight operations involving government astronauts. The proposal would require an operator to provide mission specific training and to demonstrate any government astronauts on board a human space flight can perform their role in safety-critical tasks. Comments due October 17.
The George Washington University
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