Boehner Says Obama Being Disingenuous on Regulatory Burdens

Aug 26, 2011 4:05pm

 ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports: 

House Speaker John Boehner says President Obama’s public effort to curb government regulations belies reality, with 219 pending new rules poised to add billions in costs for American businesses and potentially hurt the creation of jobs. 

In a letter to Obama, Boehner called on the administration to disclose a list of all planned rules that are estimated to cost businesses more than $1 billion each.  

“This information is of great relevance to the American people, who face so much uncertainty about these new regulatory costs,” Boehner wrote, “and to the Congress, where we continue to aim to work with you in relieving unnecessary burdens and helping employers move forward to create jobs.”

The letter, Boehner’s second to the president requesting the disclosure, comes as part of a Republican effort to disparage the president’s agenda as suffocating for businesses, and an attempt to rollback regulatory legislation already on the books. 

Republicans say the Obama-sponsored financial regulatory reform law and health care law have alone added tens of billions of dollars in new costs for the economy. 

Obama administration officials maintain, however, that the president is committed to fostering a business-friendly regulatory environment and has taken steps to reduce or eliminate unnecessary and costly burdens.

"There has been no significant increase in rulemaking under this Administration," wrote Cass Sunstein,administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), in a White House blog post.

"On the contrary, the number of significant rules reviewed by [OIRA] and issued in the first two years of the Obama administration is lower than the number issued in the last two years of the Bush administration," he said.

The president ordered a government-wide review of regulations in January, which culminated earlier this week with “hundreds of initiatives that will reduce costs, simplify the system and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency.”

Officials said the steps would save businesses an estimated $10 billion over five years. 

They also cite a National Association for Business Economics survey released this week which found, despite the attention on over-regulation, “80 percent of survey respondents felt that the current regulatory environment was ‘good’ for American businesses and the overall economy.” 

NOTE: This post was updated from an earlier version to include comment from Cass Sunstein.

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