President Barack Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein is resigning his position in the Obama administration, the White House announced on Friday.
Sunstein, until now the administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s powerful Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, will return to Harvard Law School to resume the position he held before he joined Obama’s administration three and a half years ago. He will be Harvard’s Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy.
Sunstein and Obama first met when they both taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Sunstein is viewed as a progressive number cruncher who was supposed to rejuvenate regulation to maximize benefit and minimize cost. Essentially, his role was to economically facilitate the Obama administration’s big government plans.
In a statement accompanying the announcement of Sunstein’s resignation, Obama said the man who was supposed to orchestrate his big government initiatives “has helped drive a series of historic accomplishments on behalf of the American people.”
“From putting in place lifesaving protections for America’s families, to eliminating tens of millions of hours of paperwork burdens for our nation’s citizens and businesses, Cass has shown that it is possible to support economic growth without sacrificing health, safety, and the environment,” Obama said.
“Cass has shepherded our review of existing rules to get rid of those that cost too much or no longer make sense, an effort that is already on track to save billions of dollars. With these reforms and his tenacious promotion of cost-benefit analysis, his efforts will benefit Americans for years to come,” Obama said. “I can’t thank him enough for his friendship and for his years of exceptional service.”
Obama’s acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients said in a statement that Sunstein’s departure comes with “regret and deep gratitude” for him.
“We are grateful to Cass for his years of public service and for his leadership and dedication in assisting the President in overseeing the nation’s regulatory program,” Zients said. “Among other things, his emphasis on transparency and on innovative, low-cost regulatory tools contributed to the Administration’s Open Government Initiative; to numerous efforts to promote clear, simple disclosure to inform consumers and investors; and to creative reforms to increase public participation in the regulatory process and to promote accountability to the American public.”