After taking criticism for missing an October deadline, the Obama administration Friday released its list of proposed government-wide regulations that it plans to consider in the next year.
The administration put out its notice, called the unified regulatory agenda, online around 3 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, after most lawmakers had left town. The proposed rules cover everything from power plant pollution to health-care standards to workplace safety. Critics who accuse President Obama of being an overzealous regulator said the timing of the announcement was no accident.
“President Obama has earned a permanent spot on the disclosure naughty list as his administration dumped their entire regulatory agenda out to the public when everyone else was celebrating the holidays,” said Rick Manning, communications director for Americans for Limited Government. “The late Friday dump cannot be good news for those concerned about the regulatory overreach that this administration has become renowned for.”
The list includes 68 proposed rules by the Department of Labor, covering issues ranging from pension benefit statements to blood-borne pathogens to occupational exposure to Beryllium.
Executive agencies have only finalized 43 out of 132 “economically significant” regulations from last year’s agenda. A proposed rule is considered economically significant if it would have a financial impact of at least $100 million on the economy.
In September, a National Economic Research Associates report projected loss of 887,000 jobs annually from the administration’s regulatory agenda. The international economic firm said the coal industry would be hit hard, and the job losses would continue through 2034.
The administration missed an October deadline for releasing its regulatory plans, and Republican lawmakers accused Mr. Obama of delaying the agenda until after Election Day to avoid a popular outcry.
Sen. James Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, said at the time that Mr. Obama “doesn’t want the American public to know the terrible cost of the regulatory barrage he plans to unleash in a second term.”