In his article, “New report cites ‘regulatory tsunami’ under Obama,” Byron York reports in the Washington Examiner that a new report from the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee reveals that instead of his claim to oppose job-killing regulations, President Barack Obama has radically expanded federal regulations, producing a “regulatory tsunami that has stifled productivity, wages, job creation and economic growth.”
The number and scope of federal regulations, along with the costs of those regulations and the number of federal regulators, are all growing despite an executive order from President Obama that was touted as a measure to curb over-regulation, according to a new report by the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee.
The report says the Obama administration has “imposed 75 new major regulations costing more than $380 billion over ten years.” In addition, the report says there are 219 more “economically significant regulations” in the works which will cost businesses $100 million or more each year—for a minimum cost of $21 billion over ten years. The number of pages in the Federal Register, in which such rules are recorded, is increasing rapidly, the report says, and “pages devoted to final rules rose by 20 percent between 2009 and 2010, and proposed rules have increased from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010.”
“The Obama administration has created a regulatory environment that is suffocating America’s entrepreneurs’ ability to create jobs and grow business,” writes committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican from California. “The result has been a regulatory tsunami that has stifled productivity, wages, job creation and economic growth.”
Among the examples listed in the committee report are so-called “sue and settle” agreements in which regulatory agencies work with activist groups to impose new burdens on businesses. The report focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which was designed to limit exposure to lead-based paints in houses built before 1978. Imposed in 2008—before the Obama administration came to power—the rule required that renovations to older homes be done by EPA-certified contractors following EPA-dictated procedures. But the rule contained an opt-out provision: If a homeowner filed a certificate saying there were no pregnant women or children under six years of age in the home, the renovations could go forward without the certification. But that changed under when the Obama administration came to Washington. Several environmental groups challenged the opt-out provision, and the Obama EPA chose not to defend it, working with environmentalists in 2009 to fashion a settlement removing the opt-out provision. Now, all homeowners who renovate are required to go through the costly procedures. . . .