Leader: Businesses Feel Crush of Regulations under Obama

Article excerpt


President Obama is shattering all records for imposing costly regulations on business, and Senate Democrats' elimination of the filibuster to oppose presidential nominees will only worsen the problem, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue said Tuesday.

This administration is doubling down on its massive regulatory agenda, Mr. Donohue said. There is no such thing as a lame-duck president when it comes to regulations.

He blasted the Senate for easing rules last month to approve executive-branch nominees by a majority vote, including judges who often rule on federal regulations.

The nuclear option in the Senate, invoked with the full backing of the administration, will further accelerate the regulatory avalanche and we must be prepared for it, Mr. Donohue said. Now, presidential nominees to lower courts can be approved by a simple 51 votes. It accelerates the disturbing trend we've seen of the White House to rule by regulation and executive fiat.

In a speech at the chamber's headquarters near the White House, Mr. Donohue accused the Obama administration of saddling businesses with new rules under Obamacare and other laws such as the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.

There are too damn many of them, Mr. Donohue said. Growth is being squandered and freedoms seriously undermined by an out of-control regulatory bureaucracy.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment on Mr. Donohue's criticisms. During his first term, Mr. Obama often touted his administration's efforts to eliminate outdated regulations and limit the growth of new ones.

The president's regulatory policy was raised as an issue by his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in the 2012 election campaign. One independent fact-checking organization found that during Mr. Obama's first three years in office, he imposed 24 percent more economically significant regulations than Republican President George W. Bush did in the same time frame.

Mr. Donohue, who criticized Mr. Obama in his first term for imposing a tsunami of regulation, said the problem is getting worse in the president's second term. …