Early every spring, the White House administration is required by law to submit its regulatory plans for the year. Obama, however, has refused to submit this report as he faces reelection.
The spring 2012 Regulatory Agenda is supposed to be submitted so that both Congress and the nation can get a handle on the regulatory changes the president intends to make. It is a requirement imposed by the Regulatory Flexibility Act as well as Clinton era Executive Order 12,866 -- an order that President Obama reaffirmed last year.
This report is supposed to be submitted to Congress between October and April.
Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman has sent a letter to the White House scolding it for this dereliction of its reporting duties.
"President Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, but he has failed to comply with the basic duty to publish plans for new regulations, as required by federal law," Portman said. "Concerns about bad press in an election year are no excuse for keeping these plans under wraps. With regulatory burdens already hindering job creation, the American people are entitled to know the full magnitude of new Obama Administration regulations coming down the pike."
The fall report listed "2,576 newly proposed and final regulations in the pipeline, including a disproportionate share from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury Department, Security and Exchange Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
Obama's first three years of regulatory changes have cost the nation's businesses and working people $46 billion dollars per year.
The nation has already seen the "sharpest drop" in manufacturing in three years, and the administration's report may make matters worse. These are bad metrics for the Obama re-election effort, so it is easy to see why the administration wouldn't want to release proposed regulatory changes.
But these are election considerations, not legal considerations. Thus, Obama is breaking the law by putting his campaign before his reporting requirements.