Number of New Government Regulations Slows under Obama

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
(photo: Real Time with Bill Maher)

Republicans warned last year that if President Barack Obama was reelected, the administration would unleash a tidal wave of new government rules that would drown new business opportunities and swamp the economic recovery.


But Obama’s time in office so far has been marked by fewer regulations being adopted than during the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, according to an analysis by the Center for Effective Government.


In the first 52 months of Obama as president, the government issued a total of 1,229 rules. Bush’s administration produced more rules during the same period of time (1,469), as did the Clinton administration (2,136).


Agencies under Obama have issued more “economically significant rules” than earlier administrations did: 259 versus 206 under Bush and 215 under Clinton.


The Center for Effective Government noted that 55 of the 58 these rules developed since Obama began his second term have been associated with implementing the Affordable Care Act, while three implemented the Dodd-Frank Act (financial reform legislation).


“When these rules are removed from the analysis, the Obama administration has issued almost exactly the same number of economically significant rules as the Bush administration,” according to the center.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Only a Trickle of New Rules, Not a Wave (Center for Effective Government)

The Regulatory Tsunami That Wasn’t (by Randy Rabinowitz and Matt La Tronica, OMB Watch) (pdf)

House Republicans Push Bill to Stop Most Regulations (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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