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Where's the Transparency, Mr. President?
Obama Administration Ignores the Law
November 2, 2012

Posted by Matt Dempsey


Where's the Transparency, Mr. President? - Whatever happened to a 'government of laws, not of men'? – Administration Ignores Law, Delays Exposing New Regulations


Inhofe Blasts Obama Administration For Failing To Comply with Law, Hiding Costly Regulatory Agenda 

Inhofe-EPW Senate Report Reveals Economic Pain of Obama-EPA Regulations Put on Hold Until After the Election

WATCH: Inhofe on Fox News: Obama Failing to Comply With Law on Regulation Transparency

EPA Silent on Inhofe Senate Report Showing EPA Punted on Costly Regs Past Election


Wall Street Journal: Where's the Transparency, Mr. President? One of the mores striking aspects of this presidential campaign is how little President Obama is saying on the stump about his plans for a second-term agenda. So keen is the president to keep his ideas from leaking to the public, that his administration is now trying to hide its regulatory agenda.  Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe has spent the past week noting that the Obama administration as of today will be missing a statutory deadline on regulatory transparency. The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires federal agencies to publish in the Federal Register descriptions of economically significant regulations they expect to propose. These agendas are required to be published on a semi-annual basis, in both April and October. The Obama administration has now failed to meet this legal requirement since the fall of 2011.That is no doubt because to comply with this law, the Obama administration would have to confess to its plans to continue with more than a dozen wildly unpopular and hugely expensive environmental regulations. As the election has heated up over the past year, the Environmental Protection Agency has quietly "delayed" or put aside many of these rules, to keep the president from catching heat. As Sen. Inhofe detailed in a recent report, titled "A Look Ahead to EPA Regulations for 2013," they include the agency's greenhouse gas regulations, its crushing ozone rule, a drastic rewrite of the Clean Water Act, and punitive new restrictions on everything from storm water systems, to sulfur in gasoline, to coal ash, to emissions from industrial boilers.

Washington Examiner: Whatever happened to a 'government of laws, not of men'?: So why do we allow Washington politicians not only to get away with ignoring the law but with continually replacing it with the will of one man called "Mr. President" or a few men called "bureaucrats"? President Obama isn't unique among recent chief executives in ignoring laws, but he has been the most blatant. To cite just one example, the law requires executive branch agencies to make public their proposed regulatory agendas every six months. As of Wednesday this week, the EPA was thumbing its regulatory nose at the law for the third time in two years. The delay helps Obama avoid giving voters more reasons to boot him out of the Oval Office next Tuesday, since the EPA's expected agenda would likely destroy millions of jobs and pile immense new costs on businesses and consumers. Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who has dogged Obama on this issue for months, correctly points out that "it's bad enough that he's hiding his second-term agenda -- it's even worse that he's violating the law to do it."

Heritage Foundation: Administration Ignores Law, Delays Exposing New Regulations: After three years of hyper-regulation, the Obama Administration has noticeably slowed its rulemaking in recent months. A variety of major rules have been parked in prolonged “review” by the White House, while the regulatory agenda required by statute has failed to materialize—twice. This flouting of the law is disturbing enough, but it’s made worse by the mounting regulatory uncertainty that has ensued. Congress mandated a regulatory agenda from each agency in 1980, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The statute calls for release every April and October of a summary of all rules likely to have a “significant economic impact” on a substantial number of small firms. Subsequent executive orders extended the requirements to all regulations under development or review by some 60 departments, agencies, and commissions. President Obama has ignored both the April 2012 and October 2012 agenda deadlines. The last agenda from the Administration, with 2,676 regulations, was published in fall 2011. The President’s neglect of the law contradicts his promise of an “unprecedented level of openness in government transparency.” Notice of upcoming regulatory actions is an essential tool of government transparency and accountability. The agenda enables citizens to participate in the rulemaking process, businesses to plan, and Congress to engage in oversight. The stakes are especially high now because of the hundreds of rules yet to be finalized relating to the Dodd-Frank financial regulation statute and Obamacare. The Administration has postponed action of late on some of its most ambitious regulations. For example, stricter standards on ozone emissions have been shelved until 2013. The original proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency would cost $90 billion or more annually and, potentially, jeopardize millions of jobs.


CNSNEWS: Obama Admin. Ignores Legal Deadline To Disclose Regulatory Plans, Economic Impact – Again: As of today, the Obama administration has missed its second straight legal deadline for disclosing its regulatory plans and their economic impact to Congress and the American public. No previous administration has ever failed to produce the report even once. Every administration is legally required to publish a report each April and October in the Federal Register to inform Congress and the public of the administration’s regulatory agenda and its potential economic impact. The requirement is part of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980. Other administrations have been late, but have never failed to issue the legally required report and Pres. Clinton even issued an Executive Order on compliance. After the administration failed to produce its April 2012 report, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) wrote to Pres. Obama asking for compliance with the October deadline – to no avail. Other congressmen and House committee members have also written to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator asking that the law be followed and the report produced. The last time the Obama administration complied with this law was when it published its fall 2011 report (due in October).


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