Obama Regulation Freeze Wins Praise

 Obama Regulation Freeze Wins


Suspends ‘Midnight’ Bush Regulations

D.C., January 21, 2009—The Obama
administration’s decision to suspend last-minute Bush regulations drew praise
from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The new administration announced on Tuesday its decision to
suspend implementation of many of the Bush administration’s last-minute rules.
In a memo addressed to all “executive departments and agencies,” White
House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel ordered
a freeze on nearly all Bush administration regulations
mostly emanating
from the dying days of the last administration.

“This decision by the Obama administration is an important
signal, suggesting that the new administration is going to pay attention to our
regulatory system,” said CEI Senior Fellow
Eli Lehrer. “That’s a good thing.”

“The Bush presidency issued a huge amount of new
regulations,” Lehrer continued. “People are mistaken if they think of the Bush
administration as deregulatory. And, particularly after the election, many
regulations it issued were either poorly thought out or flawed in their
implementation. A period to pause and review can only do the nation well.”

“Given the nomination of Cass Sunstein to be head of the Office of Information
and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), I hope this bodes well for the future,” adds Iain Murray, Senior Fellow in Science,
Technology and Medicine.  “I would expect that all future regulations
will be subject to a ‘Sunstein test’ – if they are precautionary in nature or
fail a cost-benefit analysis test, they should not go forward. That will be a
great advance in our regulatory procedure.  If Professor Sunstein is
stymied in this, then it will show we aren’t in a new era, after all.”

The regulatory freeze was recommended by CEI Vice President
of Policy Wayne Crews in November last year, when he said, “Upon raising his
hand from the Bible after taking the Oath of Office, President Obama should
declare a one year freeze on all new government regulations; he’d naturally
exempt those he regards as addressing immediate threats to public health and

Read the November 2008 open letter
to the Obama administration by Wayne Crews

Read the coalition letter
to the Bush administration opposing “midnight” regulations