January 2, 2013

Timing of Unified Agenda release draws criticism from Issa

From: FederalNewsRadio.com 1500AM

By Michael O’Connell

On Christmas Eve, The White House released the Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, a compilation of agencies’ plans for new regulations.

But the document has stirred controversy for a number of reasons, not least because it was published nine months late. Republican lawmakers have accused the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of trying to hide those plans from the public.

“The Administration broke the law by withholding this document due in April until the end of the year, and broke the President’s promise to be transparent by releasing it at a time when they believed as few people as possible might see it,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a statement.

“The Unified Agenda is designed to give American job creators the opportunity to plan ahead for new regulations,” Issa said. “The Committee remains gravely concerned about the opaque process and the Administration’s determination to keep Congress and the American people in the dark.”

Jerry Ellig, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, is one of those people who would normally read through the Unified Agenda and search its contents for significant passages. Like many, he was occupied with family matters over the holiday week and pleaded ignorance with the document’s particular contents.

“I can’t claim to have made a systematic study of it, but I think in any administration you can point to examples of where things were released on Friday afternoons or weekends or holidays or whatever,” he said. “I study the effects of regulation and the regulatory process, so I’m not going to speculate on people’s political motives. All I can tell you is what the effect of something like this is, which is to make the public less informed … and, apparently, some members of Congress were disappointed too.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Rod says:

    Well somebody is wrong. Foxnews ran a store this yesterday 3Jan13, the day after this was printed that said.
    “Since the Dec. 21 release, legal experts and analysts have been pouring through the tens of thousands of pages in order to determine their impact. According to an initial estimate by the American Action Forum, which notes that some entries are missing key fiscal data, the cost of implementing the agenda would top $123 billion. Completing the paperwork could require more than 13 million man-hours.

    “It’s massive,” former Deputy Attorney General Tom Dupree said. “There’s no way any human being can sit down and read this whole thing from front to back.”

    So what is the real deal here?

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