Congress leaves town but the Obama administration keeps on regulating

Sarah Hurtubise | Reporter

Big bureaucracies aren’t typically counted on to get anything done, but the Obama administration’s burgeoning executive branch has been busy. In the last 90 days, it has written over 6,300 rules and regulations for the American people.

According to federal tracking and comment website, federal agencies have posted 106 rules in just the last three days. Congress, on the other hand, enacted only 22 laws this year before leaving for an August recess last week.

The Daily Caller News Foundation recently reported on a joint George Washington University and Washington University St. Louis study by researchers Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren which pointed out that federal spending on the agencies writing the regulations is increasing — despite sequestration cuts.

With more funding for agencies that write the rules, Americans can expect even more regulations in the future. And the few laws that Congress does pass have led to massive amounts of new executive branch rules.

The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency primarily organized to regulate the interactions between banks and their customers. The federal regulations website cites 220 rules that have been passed or proposed since the agency began operating.

The 46.1 percent budget bump expected in 2013 and Obama’s proposal for another 27.3 pecent jump in 2014, as reported in the Dudley-Warren report, will keep the CFPB churning out its regulations at a record rate.

The Affordable Care Act is another breeding ground for federal regulation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has cited the high number of regulations in his anti-Obamacare campaign. McConnell’s cursory search turned up over 20,000 pages of rulemaking total.

Compliance costs are also on the rise. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, found that in 2012, it took over $1.8 trillion for Americans to figure out how to follow all the rules.

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