On January 13, 2004, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued two sets of rules (the preemption rules) on the extent to which the National Bank Act preempts the application of state and local laws to national banks and their operating subsidiaries. The rules and the manner in which OCC promulgated them generated considerable controversy. Some state officials, consumer groups, and congressional members questioned whether OCC adhered to the statutes and executive orders pertaining to rulemaking and whether the process was as inclusive as it could have been. GAO (1) assessed OCC's rulemaking process within the framework of applicable laws and executive orders, (2) described the issues raised in comment letters and OCC's responses, and (3) identified and discussed stakeholder concerns about how OCC promulgated its preemption rules.
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