Senate panel to consider Obama’s regulatory czar pick

Howard A. Shelanski, an economist and lawyer tapped for the post in April, will appear next Wednesday before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the panel announced Wednesday.

If approved by the panel and confirmed by the Senate, Shelanski would serve as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA is a small but influential office seen as the gatekeeper for proposed rules issued by executive branch agencies.

The position has been empty since August, when Cass Sunstein departed after a three-year tour of duty, and the president has been under pressure to fill the vacancy.

Shelanski, currently the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Economics, is a one-time clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and spent time at the law firm Davis, Polk & Wardwell.

He has also been a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center since 2011.