POLITICS

Agencies Issue 18 Regs For Every Law Congress Passed In 2016

Executive branch agencies under President Barack Obama issued 18 rules and regulations for every law Congress passed in 2016, according a Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) analysis of public records.

Federal agencies issued issued 3,853 rules and regulations in 2016 — 43 more than last year — dwarfing the 211 laws Congress passed as of Nov. 28. The Federal Register added a record-setting 97,110 pages in 2016 as of Dec. 30, according to a preliminary tally from the National Archives’ Federal Register database.

“Legislators of both parties relinquished their constitutional authority and tolerate the administrative state,” wrote Clyde Wayne Crews, CEI’s vice president for public policy, who calls the number of rules and regulations bureaucrats issue for every law Congress passes the “unconstitutionality index.”

But those 3,853 new rules and regulations don’t include the untold number of memoranda, letters and other proclamations agencies create. The Federal Register included 24,557 such “notices” in 2016, but some agency guidance never reaches the Federal Register, according to Crews.

Crews said it’s up to the next Congress to create a “regulatory liberalization agenda” as President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Trump has promised to roll back many regulations from President Barack Obama’s era, especially environmental ones. 

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The rules and regulations Obama’s administration issued throughout his presidency cost each American $1,300, according to another report from the American Action Forum.

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