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Executive Order 12866, issued by President Clinton on September 30, 1993, amended and consolidated long-standing executive orders put in place during the Reagan Administration.

Its objectives, the President stated, are "to enhance planning and coordination with respect to both new and existing regulations; to reaffirm the primacy of Federal agencies in the decision-making process; to restore the integrity and legitimacy of regulatory review and oversight; and to make the process more accessible and open to the public."

All executive branch agencies, except for the independent regulatory agencies, are subject to E.O. 12866. Before a regulation can go on the books, they must: 

  • Assess the general economic costs and benefits of all regulatory proposals; 
  • For every "major" rule, complete a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) that describes the costs and benefits of the proposed rule and alternative approaches, and justifies the chosen approach; 
  • Submit all "major" proposed and final rules to OMB for review; 
  • Wait until OMB completes its review and grants approval before publishing proposed and final rules; 
  • Submit an annual plan to OMB in order to establish regulatory priorities and improve coordination of the Administration's regulatory program. This requirement also applies to the independent agencies; and 
  • Periodically review existing rules.



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