UPDATE 1-Boehner asks Obama to disclose costly US regulations

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:32pm EDT

(Updates with comments by public advocacy group)

WASHINGTON Aug 26 (Reuters) - With a battle looming over U.S. regulations on businesses, the top Republican in Congress asked President Barack Obama on Friday to identify all proposed rules with a projected economic impact of at least $1 billion.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said he wants the information before Congress returns early next month from its summer recess. He said the House will consider legislation calling for a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation.

While the administration is pushing to eliminate what it considers to be old and unneeded regulations, Republicans and the business community complain it is not pushing hard enough and fear new regulations would hurt an already weak economy.

The speaker's letter came three days after the White House released a list of more than 500 possible rule changes it said could save $10 billion over five years.

Boehner unsuccessfully made the same request last year when Obama's fellow Democrats held the House. Now with Republicans in charge, the president is under pressure to comply and a big battle is expected over government regulations.

Boehner wrote that the number of proposed regulations with an annual cost of $100 million or more jumped last year from 191 to 219.

"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," Boehner wrote.

Rich Robinson of Public Citizen, a public advocacy group, replied by accusing Republicans and their business allies of routinely ignoring the upside of federal regulations.

"Regulatory controls on 'Big Business' have enormous benefits. They save lives and reduce illness. Less pollution, for instance, means fewer cases of asthma and lung disease. Having safer toys on store shelves means fewer children dying after choking on small parts," Robinson said.

Robinson cited studies by the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama and Bush administrations that he said found that the benefits of regulations far exceed their costs. (Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Vicki Allen and Eric Beech)

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Comments (4)
gary_d wrote:
Republicans, the same as the ones in charge from 1890 to 1930. No regulations and money will “trickle down” actions that put us into the great depression. The Republican attitude then by the Leaders was, it’s Governments fault. Today, Republicans hate regulations, try the “trickle Down” attitude again since 1980′s and forward, and of course Government is at fault. See where the economy is, can you do the comparison? Under the Leaders leading up to the great Depression, the People gave an approval rating in the 20% range, FDR took over and regulated the thieves and changed many things, People’s perception of Government was around 75% approval. Why would people follow Bone-er and the rest when all they want to do, is what the Past Republicans did to America, destroy it, and give it to the Wealthy. If you wish to ignore History and facts, as a basic income American, then keep following the crimes of the Republicans.

Aug 26, 2011 7:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DenverDave wrote:
Boehner’s missing some key data. Like, how much does it cost to not have the regulations? Regulations on the banking industry, such as those that were repealed by the GBLA in the late 1990s, would have save the country hundreds of billions of dollars.

Who pays the cost of the regulations? The U.S. paid the cost of enforcing the banking regulations, and the banks paid the cost of complying…a good split between public and private burden. Without them, the U.S. had to pay the cost of the bail-out, plus the cost of a deep and long recession that we’re still battling.

How much does food safety regulation cost? A few thousand USDA inspector’s salaries on government salaries. The farmers pay for the cost of compliance, but I have no way of judging how much. Who pays the cost of deregulation? Parents of sick children, children of sick seniors, schools, hospitals. How much does deregulation cost? That depends on how much you value the life of a child.

But, isn’t protecting the public good the purpose of government? If we’re not ensuring safe food, water, banks, property and national defense, that what *does* it do? It’s like we’re throwing out the baby and keeping the bath water.

Aug 26, 2011 7:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillyStamper wrote:
This is another reprehensible Republican political ploy. The House and Senate are deliberative bodies intended to take on and answer questions of precisely this nature, and instead of doing their jobs they want to shift the onus of responsibility onto a President they admittedly despise, turning the political process into a paper shuffling eye-poke aimed at the White House. Enough of this unreasonable, out-of-season partisan trash! While Republicans dither and try to score political points the country-at-large is in a crises of unprecedented proportions.

Aug 26, 2011 8:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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