Washington Update

Efforts are Underway to Curb the President’s Regulatory Agenda

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Though it will go down as the least productive Congress in modern history, House Republicans insist they are proud of their 2013 campaign to disable President Obama’s regulatory agenda. According to a December 8 article in The Hill, House Republicans are not shy about touting their efforts to block legislation.

As a result of the gridlock, President Obama decided to use his regulatory authority to pursue his key policy goals. House Republicans held dozens of committee and subcommittee hearings in 2013 aimed at critiquing new regulations. House Democrats say that the campaign is nothing more than old-fashioned obstructionism, the same thing that created October’s 16-day federal government shutdown and debt ceiling debate.

A study issued by the respected, nonpartisan Congressional Research Service provided ammunition for each point of view. The May 1, 2013 report showed that the number of final rules issued by the Obama administration through last year was fewer than all those issued during President George W. Bush’s first term. But the report also noted that more “major rules” — those with an annual economic impact of more than $100 million — were enacted in 2010 than in any year since 1997.  Given the Administration’s interest in higher education, any focus on regulatory authority could potentially impact academic dentistry, positively or negatively.

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