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Dec. 24, 2008 by Matthew Freeman

Mercatus and Midnight Regs

The Mercatus Center is out with a new report focused on midnight regulations -- the last-minute regs pushed through by Presidents even as their successor’s inaugural parade reviewing stand is being constructed on the front stoop of the White House. President Bush and his political appointees at regulatory agencies are making considerable use of their midnight hour, working to adopt new regs that would weaken the Endangered Species Act, make it harder for women to get reproductive care, keep truckers behind the wheel for 14 sleep-defying hours a day, make it easier to get a permit to mine uranium on the edge of the Grand Canyon, weaken protections against toxic chemicals in the workplace and so much more. (For a frightening list of the Administration’s last-minute regulating, visit ProPublica’s impressive compilation.) In fairness to the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration did something very similar. To be sure, the Clinton rush was aimed at adopting protective regulations, while the Bush rush is about making life easier and more profitable for businesses whose operations cry out for stricter regulation. But Bush is not the first to put the post-election period to such use. In 2001, Mercatus Research Scholar Susan Dudley …

Nov. 24, 2008 by James Goodwin
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Much is being made of the outgoing Bush Administration’s “midnight regulations,”  and with good reason, too.  Many of them roll back crucial protections for public health, safety, and the environment.  So far, they include relaxed requirements for building filthy coal plants near national parks and the elimination of a requirement mandating that federal agencies consult with independent scientists prior to taking actions that might impact endangered species.

The fact is, however, that the Bush Administration has been surreptitiously weakening regulations for the last eight years through the backdoor process of regulatory review.   And, thanks to a proposed guidance recently released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the process of regulatory review may be tilted even further in favor of weakening regulations.

The proposed guidance involves a new requirement for how the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) conducts cost-benefit analysis during …

Nov. 7, 2008 by Thomas McGarity
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Joining Thomas McGarity in this post are CPR Policy Analysts Margaret Clune Giblin and Matthew Shudtz.  This entry is cross-posted on ACSBlog, the blog of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

In the wake of the meltdown in the US financial sector, federal regulation has attracted renewed public support as a vehicle for establishing responsible boundaries and correcting market failures. Recent news stories, however, have focused public attention on a flurry of regulations that the Bush Administration has finalized, or has proposed and is working feverishly to finalize, in its last weeks in office. Has the Bush Administration recognized the failure of the deregulatory principles that have guided its nearly eight years in office and, like the public, come to embrace regulation? Apparently not. Instead, the Administration has opted to push through hundreds of new rules, many sharing the common theme of further undercutting health …

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