AFP Response to Sunstein Regulatory Review

May 26, 2011 J

The results of Obama’s regulatory review are in, and as expected they amount to pro-business window-dressing on his astonishing onslaught of new regulations. While changes like eliminating redundant EPA vapor recovery regulations and OSHA labeling harmonization are welcome, they are small potatoes in the context of the president’s disregard for Congress and the American people to move full-steam ahead on his broader agenda.

This morning, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein announced reforms such as no longer treating milk as “oil” and thus subjecting it to costly rules that are designed to deal with real oil and petrochemical spills, but was silent on the EPA’s job crushing boiler and utility rules, and its unconstitutional attempt to install cap-and-trade energy taxes through the backdoor.

The FCC is still poised to regulate the Internet – ignoring Congress, the courts, and the American people. The NLRB – led by recess-appointed union radicals and an unconfirmed acting general counsel – is threatening to establish a presumption of retaliation against any business that moves jobs from a forced unionization to Right to Work state.

The Interior Department is trying to unilaterally create a new designation for “wild lands” that have “wilderness characteristics” as a way to block access to lands in the West – mercifully put on hold by Congress until October – and is considering vast new national monument designations under the 1906 Antiquities Act to lock up resources.

All of this is happening without the consent of Congress or the American people, as the chart at www.ObamaChart.com demonstrates. A regulatory review that allows these power grabs to continue is little more than a diversion from the president’s job-crushing unconstitutional regulatory agenda. If Obama and Sunstein are serious about regulatory reform they will endorse the gold-standard proposal: the REINS Act. This reform would restore Congress’s proper role in making laws by requiring an affirmative vote for new regulations that are particularly painful before these rules take effect. Today, Sunstein said he wants to use regulations “to promote economic growth in this troubled time.” If so, he should be fully behind the REINS Act.

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