White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney accused the Obama administration Thursday of keeping a “secret list” of proposed regulations during Mr. Obama’s eight-year regulatory onslaught against businesses, and touted President Trump’s rollback of more than 800 Obama-era rules and proposals.
Of the 860 rules or proposed rules that the Trump administration has killed, 179 came from what he called Mr. Obama’s “secret” list. As Trump aides combed through the books, they found pending proposals that included rules on hardwood plywood research and new requirements for contamination control in cattle slaughter operations.
“They had a bunch of things that they wanted to regulate,” Mr. Mulvaney said of the Obama administration’s first term. “They just didn’t want to tell you about it. They thought it would be bad for their re-election prospects in 2012, so they created a secret list of regs that were not disclosed to you folks. We are disclosing it.”
When Trump officials threatened to disclose the list, Mr. Mulvaney said, bureaucrats in various Cabinet agencies “came up with those 860 things that we got rid of.”
“There will be no more of that,” said the Office of Management and Budget director. “We will not have a secret list. We will not have a hidden list of regulations that we’re thinking about doing but we’re not going to tell you about. That’s going to end effective immediately. In fact, it already has ended.”
Cass Sunstein, who headed Mr. Obama’s office of regulatory affairs in his first term, did not respond to a request for comment.
Even as the Trump administration was accusing its predecessor of a hidden agenda, a government watchdog group faulted the Trump White House for acting with unprecedented secrecy in its first six months.
“Our conclusion on the Trump administration’s record on open government at six months is inescapable: This is a secretive administration, allergic to transparency, ethically compromised and hostile to the essential role that journalism plays in a democracy,” said a report by the Sunlight Foundation.
During Mr. Trump’s first six months in office, he has eliminated 16 major regulations that had cost businesses at least $100 million per year each. He has introduced only one major regulation, pertaining to mercury in wastewater.
At a White House event to showcase advances in U.S. pharmaceutical packaging, Mr. Trump said the drug industry and patients will soon benefit from fewer regulations at the Food and Drug Administration.
“Amazing things are happening there, and I think we’re going to be announcing some of them over the next two months,” the president said. “We’re going to be streamlining, as we have in other industries, regulations so that advancements can reach patients quickly.”
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