Letter on the Legal Implications of White House Interactions with Independent Agencies

The Chamber wrote to a number of agency heads and officials to express its views in light of reports that White House personnel have recently engaged in close contacts with some independent agencies regarding policy and regulatory matters that those agencies have a legal duty to consider through rulemakings, adjudications, and other processes. We understand that these contacts include, but are not limited to, discussions that implement or otherwise respond to Executive Order 14036 of July 9, 2021 (Promoting Competition in the American Economy). The order establishes a White House Competition Council, chaired by the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Director of the National Economic Council, and orders the Chair to “invite” the heads of several independent agencies to participate in the Council; “encourage[s]” all independent agencies “to comply with the requirements of this order”; and “encourages” the heads of independent agencies to take or consider various specific actions, including rulemaking and enforcement activity. In addition, the Order requires detailed consultation between various Executive Branch agencies and independent agencies, with particular attention given to the Federal Trade Commission.