-By Warner Todd Huston
Early every spring an administration is required by law to submit its regulatory plans for the year. Obama, however, has refused to submit this report perhaps afraid of how badly it might impact his prospects for re-election.
The spring 2012 Regulatory Agenda is supposed to be submitted so that both Congress and the nation can get a handle on the regulatory changes the president intends to make. It is a requirement imposed by the Regulatory Flexibility Act as well as Clinton era Executive Order 12,866 -- an order that President Obama reaffirmed last year.
This report is supposed to be submitted to Congress between October and April. Obama still hasn't satisfied this lawful requirement.
Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman has sent a letter to the White House scolding it for this dereliction of its reporting duties.
"President Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, but he has failed to comply with the basic duty to publish plans for new regulations, as required by federal law," Portman said. "Concerns about bad press in an election year are no excuse for keeping these plans under wraps. With regulatory burdens already hindering job creation, the American people are entitled to know the full magnitude of new Obama Administration regulations coming down the pike."
Diane Katz notes that the fall report listed, "2,576 newly proposed and final regulations in the pipeline, including a disproportionate share from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury Department, Security and Exchange Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
There is no doubt that Obama’s next regulatory scheme will cost the nation billions more.
It might be no surprise that Obama refuses to submit this report to Congress. After all, in this devastated economy, Obama's first three years of regulatory changes have cost the nation's businesses and working people $46 billion dollars per year. Yet one more year with yet one more avalanche of new regulations is sure to further hurt the economy and Obama is desperate to keep this news away from America's prying eyes.
We can guess just how bad this next assault on our jobs sector is going to be with reports that Obama intends to push hard on global warming regulations, wants higher taxes, and will implement new immigration policies and, as he's done in the past, Obama likely intends to make an end run around both Congress and the voters by using his powers to regulate to make these changes.
The nation has already seen the "sharpest drop" in manufacturing in three years, so another report of the next onslaught of regulatory changes is sure to make matters worse.
Additionally, The Hill reports the results of a recent poll that shows that only 31% of respondents felt the country was going in the right direction. They feel that Obama doesn't deserve a second term.
These are bad metrics for an Obama re-election effort, so it is easy to understand why the administration doesn't want to put its patron's campaign in worse shape than it is by releasing his new regulatory changes. But these are election considerations, not legal considerations and legally Obama is breaking the law by putting his campaign matters before his reporting requirements.