Twice per year, the federal government is required to release a unified agenda of all of the “economically significant” rules and regulations that all departments and agencies plan to pursue in the coming year. Such pesky exactions hardly need apply to The Most Transparent Administration Evah, of course, and the Obama administration had mysteriously neglected to submit their agenda since the fall of 2011 — until they finally did, the afternoon before Christmas break. But don’t you dare accuse them of trying to avoid their oversight obligations in an election year and bury their regulatory intentions in a holiday-Friday news dump!
Reports the Washington Times:
The Obama administration is pushing back against critics who have accused the president of unleashing a “regulatory tsunami” against the business community.
In a long-delayed report from the White House Office of Management and Budget, released just before the long holiday weekend, a senior administration official, speaking “on background,” said the list of new regulations for 2013 is actually shorter than it was in 2011 and 2012.
“This 2012 agenda makes clear that there is no ‘regulatory tsunami’ coming from this administration,” the source said. “It actually includes slightly fewer economically significant active rulemakings from executive agencies than the previous two agendas.”
In his background comments on the report, the administration official pointed out that just because a proposed rule makes the report doesn’t mean the agency will go through with it. The rules must undergo “serious scrutiny” before that happens. In fact, in 2012, only 43 of the 132 economically significant rules that were in the last agenda have been finalized.
Yes, well, perhaps only 43 of the last agenda’s rules have been finalized, but the finalization average for Obama’s first two years was 63, and all of that “serious scrutiny” hasn’t stopped the Obama administration’s generally breakneck rulemaking pace.
The feds put some temporary brakes on their plans for the election, and now pages and pages of new rules for ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank — both of which are meant to fundamentally transform our healthcare and economic sectors — as well as controlling, intrusive new ideas from the Labor Department, the EPA, and others are all set to start taking their toll.