Increased power is always accompanied by increased pressure in official Washington, and so it is with David A. Stockman's Office of Management and Budget. As the OMB asserts greater power over rule-making decisions in the federal agencies, other players in the bureacratic game step up the pressure on the OMB:

The House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee has taken the first step toward a contempt citation against Stockman. Stockman has refused to make public his records on 55 proposed regs the OMB delayed earlier this year. The subcommittee responded with a formal subpoena, and could move on to contempt proceedings if the OMB does not relent.

Six consumer groups, in a meeting with OMB regulation czar James Miller, demanded that the OMB issue a public explanation whenever it holds up or changes a regulation proposed by any federal agency, with the threat of legal action if OMB won't agree. (So far, there's no clear response on this from OMB.)

Six big corporations asked the OMB to step in on their side of a continuing business effort to stop the Federal Trade Commission from issuing its "Line of Business" reports on costs and profits in various industries. The OMB declined to intervene, and the FTC says the report will come out within days.