Could last week’s revelation that the Labor Department didn’t release internal estimates about the proposed tip pool regulation be distracting us from the much bigger story?
It’s unclear what forces were behind the decision to shelve an economic analysis that the proposal would cause workers to potentially lose billions in tips to their bosses. The answer may offer a troubling signal about the Trump administration’s approach to the regulatory—and, more crucially, deregulatory—process.
People who’ve spent their careers studying regulations tell me it’s quite unusual for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs staff to sign off on an economically significant proposal sans cost-benefit data. And that’s especially true if OIRA knew the agency had already gone to the trouble of compiling the data. …
The demonstrators have extra ammo in their rally cries: last week’s revelation that the department shelved its internal estimates that the regulation would lead to up to billions in employee tips changing hands to their bosses. There’s been some heated reactions to this news throughout Washington. The National Review offered some conservative commentary that while reversing the Obama rule is the sound legal move, “it’s not a good look for the department to hide the consequences of its actions.”
As Democrats continue to pile on with oversight requests and demands for the department to scrap the rule entirely, the DOL, Republicans, and the business community have offered surprisingly faint responses.
I found someone who is anything but shy in his forceful defense of the new rulemaking.
“This secretary, this department, is trying hard to come up with the best estimate that it can on what’s likely to happen, and it’s not going to put a number out there that it does not think sheds light on the reality of the situation,” Paul DeCamp, the attorney representing the National Restaurant Association in litigation challenging the 2011 rule, told me.