SBA office worked to block federal regulations on businesses

Editor’s Note:  Chief Counsel for Advocacy Dr. Winslow Sargeant and his staff of skilled professionals deserve the gratitude of small businesses for their hard work in serving as “an independent voice for small business within the federal government… and [as] the watchdog for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).”  The Office of Advocacy plays an important role in making the regulatory system work better for all Americans. 

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark

An independent office within the Small Business Administration has worked to block health, safety and environmental regulations on behalf of small and large businesses without appropriate technical expertise, two new studies have charged.

How Much Does Federal Paperwork And Tax Compliance Cost?


by Wayne Crews

Regulations notwithstanding, the off-budget costs of tax compliance for individuals and businesses are said to account for most of the federal paperwork burden, although there might increasingly be cause to question that assumption given growing paperwork-heavy regulation in health care and finance.

In any event, for present purposes, government paperwork costs associated with regulation are presumably (but in actual fact perhaps not likely) accounted for in the Regulatory Impact Analyses for particular executive agency rules, and thus already reflected captured in OMB Costs and Benefits reports; however, again, here only major or economically significant rules and those cited as having a notable impact on small business get counted. So the paperwork associated with the bulk of rules may not be well tabulated.

Bill Gates: My Plan to Fix The World’s Biggest Problems

Editor’s Note:  As is true for all other government polices, regulations needs to be driven by metrics and quality data.

From: The Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates

From the fight against polio to fixing education, what’s missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data. We can do better. We have the tools at hand.

We can learn a lot about improving the 21st-century world from an icon of the industrial era: the steam engine.

Exempting Climate Mitigation from OIRA Review

Editor’s Note:  The author’s conclusion is, in essence, that the government can no longer afford the time and resources to assess the consequences of its actions before acting.  A more prudent view is that climate change should not be the next Iraq — the most significant recent example of the government failing to apply independent cost-benefit analysis before making a major policy decision.

From: RegBlog

David M. Driesen

Vitter: Administration Evading Regulation Transparency Obligation

From: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Agencies are required by law to inform the public and Congress of anticipated regulations, EPA missing deadlines by long shot

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today called out the Obama Administration for not meeting obligations of informing the public and Congress of its regulatory agenda. Specifically, Vitter wants answers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who failed to release their mandated regulatory flexibility agenda for an unprecedented eight months.

Is the Rulemaking Process Really a Quagmire?

From: RegBlog

James Hobbs

At least one critic has called the multi-year implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act “plodding impotence,” echoing a strain of popular and anecdotal evidence that the American regulatory system is broken down because it moves too slowly.  However, a recent study shows that the median process of making a new regulation is completed within only twelve months.

Undue  delay is one of the major critiques of the current rulemaking structure, with popular accounts of the American regulatory state frequently focusing on stories of bureaucratic delay, sluggishness, and rigidity. For instance, many scholars have pointed to the ten years it took the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to decide if peanut butter must be composed of a minimum of about 90 percent peanuts.

AARP, AFL-CIO urge OMB to issue Sunshine Act rules

From: Healthwatch/The Hill’s Healthcare Blog

By Elise Viebeck

Powerful healthcare advocates pressed the Obama administration Monday to  issue long-overdue regulations that would expose financial relationships between  doctors and industry.

AARP, the AFL-CIO and 17 other healthcare advocacy  groups told the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that regulations for the  Physician Payments Sunshine Act are essential to protect patients and eliminate  fraud in Medicare and Medicaid.

“There is a significant consequence for  healthcare system costs associated with the ongoing delay in implementation  because of the practice by some physicians of over-prescribing certain drugs, or  by otherwise prescribing medically unnecessary and expensive treatments,” the  groups wrote.

The Rocky Regulatory Road: Preparing for Obama’s Second Term and Executive Branch Policymaking

From: PG Pipeline/Perspectives & Projections from the Podesta Group

By Sally Katzen and Alex Stapleton

As we are about to begin President Barack Obama’s second term, the landscape is roughly the same as it has been for the past two years, with a few key dynamics slightly altered. President Obama remains in the White House, although he will not have to worry about re-election. The Republicans retain a comfortable margin in the House, although the caucus may be more fractious than it has been. And, the Democrats now hold a slightly larger advantage in the Senate, but will still not control the 60 votes necessary to overcome Republican opposition on contentious issues.

Michaels Says Wide Range of Enforcement Tools Are Needed for Different Workplaces

From: BNA/Bloomberg

By Stephen Lee

Increasing numbers of U.S. employers are embracing the notion that protecting worker safety is good for business, David Michaels, head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told BNA Jan. 4.

“It’s hard for me to judge overall changes,” Michaels said, “but I certainly have seen many employers recognize that managing for safety is useful not only to prevent injuries and fatalities, but in fact leads to a more profitable company. And I believe that’s being embraced much more widely.”

White House to mandate machine-readable open data

From;, 1500AM

By Jason Miller

White House technology leaders are close to issuing a new policy that will change the way agencies release data to the public.

Todd Park, the federal chief technology officer, said Friday the new policy is one of several steps to spur the release of more data from agencies.