President Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review”

Attempts to Overhaul Cost-Benefit Analysis 

President Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memorandum may end up being one of the most consequential and yet underreported changes to the regulatory process. However—as AGC has reported throughout the Biden Administration—many of these orders by and large do not have immediate practical impacts and will take many months and even years before many of these orders become more detailed, final regulations. The Biden memorandum attempts to modify the regulatory cost-benefit analysis, where significant regulations must demonstrate that the benefits justify the costs. On its face the memo recommends that certain, hard to quantify, benefits begin to factor into the regulatory review process. These benefits include public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations. If the memo is fully implemented, expect increased regulatory activity from federal agencies.

In that intervening time, AGC is well-prepared to ensure the best possible regulatory outcomes by presenting the industry’s positions to career federal agency officials, political appointees, and members of Congress via the credibility it has established over many decades. In the event of executive overreach, AGC is similarly prepared to litigate—thanks to corporate contributions from AGC members to the Construction Advocacy Fund—as it has done under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

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