Obama Oversees Vast Regulatory Expansion

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Monday, 19 Aug 2013 03:49 PM

By Melanie Batley

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President Barack Obama has overseen a vast expansion of the regulatory state, which will have far-reaching consequences beyond his presidency.

According to The Hill, experts are unanimous in their opinion that federal mandates under Obama have steadily increased, reaching into new territories including the environment, the workplace, immigration, gun control, cyber security, and sentencing guidelines for drug offenses.

Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform laws also call for hundreds of new regulatory actions.

"It would be difficult for anyone to pretend that this isn't a high water mark in terms of regulation," Douglas Holz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who now heads the American Action Forum, told The Hill. He characterized the Obama years as an "incredibly intense period of regulation."

And the new federal rules are outpacing the removal of outdated ones. Data collected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that the Code of Federal Regulations increased by 7.4 percent during Obama's first three years in office, compared to 4.4 percent during former President George W. Bush's first term.

"We sit back and watch this erosion and watch, really, an executive branch that has, I think, arrogant powers of overseeing things," Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Mike Kelly told The Hill.

"All the kinds of things we say we want: an expanding economy, more opportunity, more jobs — all of them are stifled by the regulatory oppression that's occurred," Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Price said, according to The Hill.

Supporters of stronger regulation, however, do not believe Obama is to blame for regulatory expansion.

"I think [the increase in regulations] is a function of the fact that there are more threats to the public health and safety emerging on a regular basis, being identified on a regular basis," Amit Narang, a regulatory police advocate at Public Citizen said, according to The Hill.

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