President Obama has issued 145 “midnight” regulations with a cost of more than $21 billion since the election of Donald Trump, the most by a lame-duck president in a generation, a study has found.
The conservative American Action Forum said Thursday that Mr. Obama’s rules, issued from Nov. 8 through Dec. 31, include 31 “economically significant” regulations with a cost of at least $100 million each.
“The administration has published more than 21 million hours of final federal paperwork requirements since November 8,” said Sam Batkins, AAF’s director of regulatory policy. “At the current pace, the Obama administration is going to be the most active ‘midnight’ (period from Election Day to Inauguration Day) regulator in more than a generation.”
The Republican-majority House on Wednesday passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act by a vote of 238-184. It would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to repeal any regulations finalized in the last 60 legislative days of an administration under a single disapproval resolution.
The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The House also on Thursday passed the REINS Act, a bill that would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said this week that Republicans would roll back one rule reducing methane emissions and another intended to blunt the environmental impact of coal mining on streams.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee said Thursday that among the major Obama rules targeted for repeal are regulations to expand overtime pay, a K-12 education proposal to ensure that federal funds for low-income students don’t replace state and local dollars, and a fiduciary rule for investment advisers.
AAF said the administration released 99 regulations last month, including 19 economically significant measures, both records for 2016. “December’s regulatory output eclipsed every December in more than a generation, since 1993,” Mr. Batkins said. “The pace in December has increased to 4.5 regulations per day, or roughly double the average daily output.”
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