$34 billion in new regs to drop after the election

A study by the American Action Forum has concluded that the government will issue $34 billion in new regulations - delayed for political reasons until after the election.

This study follows on the heels of another report issued last December that found the Obama administration severely delaying regulations until after the 2012 election:

A new government report points to election-year politics as a factor in the delays of major regulations during the latter years of President Obama’s first term, and finds that White House reviews of proposed agency rules only got longer in the first half of this year.

The study follows an analysis by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), an independent federal agency charged with monitoring the government’s rule-making process.

The ACUS findings, first reported by The Washington Post, corroborate views held by watchdog groups and some congressional Democrats, who have criticized the Obama administration for putting the brakes on important public health and safety protections.

Between the mid-1990s and 2011, it took the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) an average of 50 days to complete reviews of regulations drafted at agencies.

In 2012, the average time swelled to 79 days, as the administration adopted new procedures, the report found. In the first half of 2013, the average review time was 140 days.

The situation today is no different, as the EPA has delayed the issue of regulations governing CO2 emissions from power plants until after the mid terms:

The  AAF study counted 15 major regulations with associated projected costs of roughly $34 billion that are due in November, December and January.

Among them are a series of contentious Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including a final rule imposing new limits greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and standards for ground-level ozone.

Various labor, energy and healthcare regulations also made the list.

“Regardless of possible motive, if this schedule remains in place, there will be no shortage of major regulations issued immediately after Election Day,” according to the report, authored by Sam Batkins, the group’s director of regulatory affairs.

Administrations led by both parties have been accused of delaying regulations before elections and, in cases where the opposing party wins the White House, presidents issuing a flurry of “midnight regulations.”

While President Obama is not on the ticket this year, his administration has much at stake in November. If Republicans are able to secure control of the Senate, Obama’s policy agenda would have even longer odds than it does now.

Some of those regulations - including the emissions regs - are likely to be challenged in court, so they won't go into effect when they are published. But the hit to the economy of the remaining rules will be significant. Increased paperwork burdens, reporting requirements, and more red tape will have a negative impact on growth and jobs.

The increase in economic regulations is far outpacing those in the health, safety, and environmental sphere's. A study by George Washington University found "that the budgets of economic regulators have increased 4.5 percent this year, but are only up 1.4 percent at social regulatory agencies to promulgate environmental, health and safety rules."

The costs of running a business have ballooned in the last 5 years as Washington has piled on requirements that eat away at profits and prevent business expansion. The next time President Obama says that we're not doing good enough on job creation, ask him to look in a mirror for the answer.





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