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Senate confirms Indian American Neomi Rao to lead White House regulatory affairs office

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Rao was confirmed by a vote of 54-41

Neomi Rao (Courtesy of twitter)

The United States Senate on Monday voted to confirm Indian American lawyer Neomi Rao as the head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The 44-year-old Rao was confirmed by a vote of 54-41 and she would lead White House office overseeing regulation, according to Senate’s official website.

“In selecting Professor Neomi Rao to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the President has made an inspired choice. Since first working on my staff many years ago, Director Rao has proven herself to be a sharp and principled public servant. She possesses a keen sense for our duty in Washington to help small businesses grow and make lives of Americans easier – not more difficult,” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement praising Rao.

“Director Rao will play an instrumental role in helping the President fulfill his promise to roll back unnecessary red tape and unleash the full potential of the American economy,” he said.

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) also appreciated Rao for her commitment to work and said that he secured a commitment from her to address benefit and cost analysis for army corps projects and to ensure fair treatment of public-private partnerships.

“In order for our nation to continue to compete around the globe, we need to have a cost-effective, pro-growth regulatory environment,” Hoeven said in a news release. “As the head of OIRA, Neomi Rao is going to play a vital role in helping us to provide regulatory relief and make our country more competitive. Further, I appreciate her commitment to work with me to ensure public-private partnership receive fair treatment by OMB and the Army Corps. That will be important as we use P3s to reduce the Army Corps’ backlog and build vital infrastructure across the country, like comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley.”

Rao serves as an associate professor of law and the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. She graduated from Yale University and later attended University of Chicago Law School. Rao clerked for US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

She is also a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and the governing council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.