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OpenMarket: November 2016

  • Counteracting the Midnight Rush of Regulations

    November 17, 2016

    Now that the White House will officially be switching parties, the outgoing Obama administration will likely pass as much of its regulatory agenda as quickly as it can, while it can. This common practice is called a midnight rush. In fact, the daily Federal Register, where new regulations are published, has...
  • Free to Prosper: Top Priorities for the 115th Congress

    November 17, 2016

    A preview of CEI's forthcoming Agenda for the 115th Congress

    After a contentious election season, we look forward to the nation’s elected representatives rolling up their sleeves and getting back to work. Starting in January, the 115th Congress will have an unusually promising opportunity to roll back excessive government control throughout the economy. However, more important than any of the particular bill will be the need for the legislative branch of government to broadly reassert its powers under Article I of the Constitution.

    As a nation, we authorize one institution, Congress, to write the laws. Yet, the vast expansion of areas over which the federal government has seen fit to implement control means that members of Congress have, over time, delegated an increasing amount of authority to the various cabinet department and...

  • Obama's 2016 Federal Register Just Topped Highest Page Count of All Time

    November 17, 2016

    Well that didn’t him take long.

    President Barack Obama’s Federal Register, the daily depository of rules and regulations, added 572 pages today, and stands at 81,640 pages for 2016. 

    This is the all-time record. Ever.

    Obama also held the prior record, 81,405 pages in 2010.

    The 80,000 page mark has been passed in only three previous years (2010, 2011, 2015).

    The chart below shows the highest 15 Federal Register Federal Register page counts. Note that Obama holds seven of the 10 highest-ever tallies.

    Yet nearly a month and a half remain in this record-setting year.

    No one knows what the future holds, but at a pace of well over 1,000 pages weekly, the Federal Register could easily top 90,000 pages this...

  • The New Congress Should Repeal All Energy Efficiency Mandates

    November 17, 2016

    As part of its new agenda for January, Congress should repeal every energy-efficiency mandate on the books, ranging from Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for new vehicles to efficiency standards for...
  • Which of Obama's Midnight Regulations Will Get Rolled Back?

    November 16, 2016

    Yesterday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and every House committee chairman sent a one-paragraph letter to all executive agencies cautioning them against “finalizing pending rules or regulations in the Administration’s last days.”

    Acting with “undue haste” to adopt final rules will increase the likelihood agency actions will have “unintended consequences” harmful to businesses and consumers, and will deny the incoming administration and Congress “the opportunity to review and give direction concerning pending rulemakings,” the GOP House leaders argue. They conclude with a warning: “Should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions—and, if appropriate—overturns them pursuant to the...

  • Federal Register Tops 80,000 Pages, 3rd Highest Ever Count

    November 15, 2016

    Today’s Federal Register added 572 pages, and stands at 80,562 pages for 2016. 

    The 80,000 page mark has been passed in only three previous years (2010, 2011, and 2015).

    At the moment, that brings the 2016 Register to the third-highest count of all time.

    As may be seen in the chart below, the Federal Register is fewer than 1,000 pages away from its all-time high, set back in 2010 by President Obama. Yet a month and a half remain in this record-setting year.

    As we noted earlier, the accelerated pace calls for a countdown, such that each time the Obama 2016 Federal Register count notches itself up the Top 15 countdown, we posted a new chart.

    The next...

  • Congress Should Use REINS Act to Reform Regulation

    November 15, 2016

    CEI released a new report today about the REINS Act, which would require Congress to vote on all new executive branch regulations costing more than $100 million per year. If you prefer a shorter version, Investor’s Business Daily also ran my op-ed about it today:

    President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald J. Trump have something important in common. They both have a chance to help America's job creators out from under the crushing regulatory burden imposed by the federal government. First up, before President Obama leaves office, the Senate should pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (...

  • Supreme Court Can Save America by Taking a Gamble on Sports Betting

    November 15, 2016

    America is a betting nation, and last Tuesday we elected something of a wild card to be our next commander-in-chief. President-elect Trump’s nonexistent legislative history and tendency to “evolve” on issues (sometimes week to week), combined with the momentum he has with a Republican Congress, has many folks at both ends of the political spectrum nervous. But America remains a constitutional republic and it is for scenarios exactly like this that our Constitution limits and divides power between the feds, states, and individuals. That’s one reason why CEI has joined the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Cato Institute in asking the Supreme Court of the United States to hear New Jersey’s...

  • Report: Nationwide Grading of Government Union Laws

    November 15, 2016

    At the federal level, the two primary labor and employment statutes—National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act, have remained relatively untouched for decades. However, over the past several years, a number of states have taken action to reform labor and employment law.  

    Notably, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and West Virginia have become right to work states, which means workers may no longer be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. As I...

  • Three Climate Policy Executive Orders the President-Elect Should Repeal

    November 15, 2016

    President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to “cancel immediately” all of President Obama’s “illegal and overreaching executive orders,” and he strongly opposes Obama’s climate agenda. Will Obama’s climate policy executive orders be among the first on Trump’s chopping block?

    Here are three prime targets for repeal, beginning with the most recent.


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