The Corner

Boehner Seeks Info on Costly Regulations

As Republicans prepare to mount a major offensive against the Obama administration’s onerous regulatory regime, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) is asking the president to account for all of the regulations imposed by the administration having an estimated economic cost of $1 billion or greater. Boehner made a similar request in August of last year, which the White House ignored.

This year, Boehner notes in a letter to the president, the administration has announced 219 new regulations with an estimated annual cost of more than $100 million each, a 15 percent increase over the past year. This, Boehner writes, “appears to contradict public suggestions by the Administration this week that the regulatory burden on American job creators is being scaled back.”

One of these new rules, introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency, is estimated to cost upwards of $90 billion per year — astronomically more than the $100 million benchmark — but the administration has not identified any other new regulations that so dramatically exceed this figure. “This information is of great relevance to the American people, who face so much uncertainty about these new regulatory costs, 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,” Boehner writes. He is urging the administration to provide such information by the time Congress returns in September, when the House plan to consider legislation requiring greater congressional oversight of the federal regulations process.

Full text of the letter here:

August 26, 2011

President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Last year, on August 16, 2010, I wrote to you about my concern that the Administration’s published regulatory agenda included a total of 191 planned new regulations, each of which had an estimated annual cost of $100 million or more, with some involving billions of dollars annually.  In my letter, I noted that at public forums, private sector job creators were citing this regulatory agenda as one of the primary impediments to job creation, especially for small businesses.  I asked that your Administration identify for Congress all of your planned new rules that would have an estimated economic impact of more than $1 billion.  Unfortunately, that requested information was not provided to Congress nor to the American people.

This year the Administration’s current regulatory agenda identifies 219 planned new regulations that have estimated annual costs in excess of $100 million each.  That’s almost a 15 percent increase over last year, and appears to contradict public suggestions by the Administration this week that the regulatory burden on American job creators is being scaled back.  All of this information is publicly available at Reginfo.gov. 

I was startled to learn that the EPA estimates that at least one of its proposed rules will cost our economy as much as $90 billion per year.  The Administration has not disclosed how many of the other 218 planned rules will cost more than $1 billion, nor identified these rules.  This information is of great relevance to the American people, who face so much uncertainty about these new regulatory costs, 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.

I am again asking that your Administration provide a list of all pending and planned rulemakings with a projected impact on our economy in excess of $1 billion.  I ask that you provide this information by the time Congress reconvenes, so that the information will be available as the House considers legislation requiring a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy as we continue our efforts to remove impediments to job creation and economic growth for the American people.

Thank you for your attention to this request, and for our continuing dialogue on job creation.

Sincerely,

John Boehner 

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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