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Slandered by Dick Durbin?

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois is apparently not much of a Freakonomics fan, or maybe he thinks it’s something that it’s not. He trashed our good (ha!) name the other day during a Senate Appropriation Committee hearing that was probing the budget of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Here’s the story, as covered by OMB Watch:

Durbin … questioned OMB Director Rob Portman on a number of issues. These included the recess appointment of Susan Dudley to be the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB, and the installation of Regulatory Policy Officers (RPOs) in federal agencies as required by recent White House changes to the regulatory process.

Durbin addressed OIRA at large, calling its work “Freakonomics to the 10th power.” He then pointed out some of Dudley’s anti-regulatory positions and asked Portman to identify the need for presidentially appointed regulatory foot-soldiers – the RPOs – to invade each agency. Durbin said the White House appeared to be “attempting to take away the regulatory authority of agencies.”