Red Tapeworm 2014: When Regulations Get Delayed

From: Competitive Enterprise Institute

By Wayne Crews

This is Part 17 of a series taking a walk through some sections of  Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State (2014 Edition)

I tend to think bureaucratic regulation often creates tremendous harm, so it’s interesting when those who disagree decide to hold off on regulation when it suits them.

Politics play a role in delaying regulations sometimes, and 2012 appeared to be an extreme case with the delay of many big, expensive rules ahead of the election. For example, a Washington Post headline proclaimed, “White House Delayed Enacting Rules Ahead of 2012 Election To Avoid Controversy.” A former White House official detailed the “mother-may-I” environment that prevailed at the time, “As we entered the run-up to the election, the word went out the White House was not anxious to review new rules.”

The Washington Post summed up the matter as follows: 

The number and scope of delays under Obama went well beyond those of his predecessors, who helped shape rules but did not have the same formalized controls, said current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

A December 2013 report by the Administrative Conference of the United States on the growing length of time it took the Office of Management and Budget to review regulations reinforced the the Post’s conclusion, and other headlines did too:

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