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“Sharon Block, Union Ally, Named to White House Regulatory Post”

“President Joe Biden has installed Obama-era labor official Sharon Block as interim political leader of the White House regulatory review office—an agency she’s recently said needs a worker-oriented overhaul—multiple sources briefed on the appointment told Bloomberg Law.

Block, in an April article published by The American Prospect, advocated for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to undergo structural changes to expedite revocation of Trump administration rules that she deemed harmful to workers and progressive interests. Her opinion piece also called for OIRA to take on an expanded role to swiftly advance urgent regulations tied to pandemic recovery, rather than sometimes functioning as a bottleneck for such rules.

Block’s title is now OIRA associate administrator, four sources said, meaning she’s the top politically appointed official at the office until Biden nominates someone for administrator, who would then be subject to the Senate confirmation process. By tapping an experienced Democratic hand to steer the White House regulatory office on Wednesday, the new president is signaling a desire to avoid the potential for Senate confirmation delays to stall efforts to undo deregulatory, corporate-friendly regulations issued by the Trump administration.”

Ben Penn and Courtney Rozen report for Bloomberg Environment January 21, 2021.