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WSJ: "Broken Rules System"

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Posted by: EricWI at Wed Sep 14 13:02:49 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

Congressional Republicans Attack ‘Broken’ Rules System

Congressional Republicans are releasing a report critical of the Obama administration’s regulatory policy, a theme that will echo through the 2012 elections.

The report continues campaign trail attacks on “job killing” regulations, saying the federal government rulemaking process is “broken.”

Federal agencies are ignoring the impact of their rules on small businesses and carrying out faulty analysis when weighing their costs and benefits, according to the report, which was written by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, which is chaired by California Rep. Darrell Issa.

The Environmental Protection Agency comes under fire for ignoring the impact on small companies of a 2009 rule that toughened training requirements for home renovators working on dwellings with lead paint. Construction companies say the rule has increased their costs and they have lost work to contractors who don’t comply.

The report cites Small Business Administration criticism that the EPA failed to give serious consideration to less-burdensome alternatives.

The White House launched an initiative this year to root out regulations that could hinder job creation, and has recently announced plans to purge hundreds of regulations deemed unnecessary and outdated. It also surprised activists by scrapping other proposed rules, including one to toughen air-quality standards.

Cass Sunstein, the White House regulatory chief, and Bill Daley, a businessman who became the president’s chief of staff after the midterm elections, have been credited for the administration’s new message of restraint in the growth of federal rules.

The GOP has said the administration hasn’t made a significant dent in the problem, and that many potentially harmful rules are still pending.

“The examples in this report clearly counter the administration’s claims that they have the regulatory system under control and are engaged in reform,” according to the report.

The report criticizes Fish and Wildlife Service plans to define boa constrictors and some pythons and anaconda as “injurious” to humans and the environment, banning their transportation across state lines in most cases. The agency has been paying particular attention to a snake infestation in the Florida Everglades.

The agency is accused of failing to consider scientific evidence that the snakes may not pose a risk in most of the country.


The report also singles out the Agriculture Department’s handling of a proposal to change livestock marketing practices. The agency is accused of underestimating the economic impact and only belatedly acknowledged the annual cost would exceed $100 million.

A spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service said that the agency had invited a wide range of comments on the rule. EPA and USDA officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The report will be released Wednesday morning. A copy was obtained early by The Wall Street Journal.

White House spokeswoman Meg Reilly pointed out that several of the rules were still under review and said that the administration welcomed feedback “from any and all members of Congress.”

“We’re changing the regulatory culture to prevent a future backlog of out-of-date and ineffective regulations that needlessly burden American businesses and consumers,” she added.
blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/09/13/congressional-republicans-attack-job-killing-rules/


   

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