President Barack Obama’s administration deliberately held off implementing burdensome regulations that favored environmentalists, labor unions, and dealt with Obamacare in the month leading up to the election because they would be politically unpopular.
Before Obama won reelection, the backlog of regulations suggested to many industry experts that if Obama won reelection, his administration would be “publishing thousands of pages of regulations in the coming months.”
Now that Obama won, some in the business community expect a “tsunami” of regulations that will burst through the dam because about 70 percent of regulations under review have been held for more 90 days, which is 30 days more than the customary 60-day limit. And these are regulations that have made it out of the various agencies. There are many more still on hold.
Many of those regulations involve the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to the National Journal:
Industry lobbyists and environmental lawyers estimate that the EPA is currently sitting on about a dozen new major regulations, completed, and ready to roll out the door, but on hold until after the election. Nearly all of them will have a significant impact on the coal and oil industry.
Some of these regulations would increase gasoline prices, which the Obama administration did not want to do in the months leading up to the election. Others are expected to hurt the coal industry even more.
Business leaders also expect regulations in the banking (Dodd-Frank) and healthcare sectors (Obamacare).
Obamacare “regulations are critical for implementation,” but “many have unpleasant political ramifications”:
Rules specifying how and when the federal government would run state insurance markets would likely raise cries of ‘government takeover.’ And insurance industry regulations with the potential to raise premiums or eliminate existing insurance products could inspire criticisms that Obama was dishonest when he told people that, under his law, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’
Aware of this, the Obama administration essentially put the Health and Human Services Department on lockdown before the election:
Several people who work closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency at the Health and Human Services Department responsible for most of the outstanding health care regulations, say they’ve been told the delays are due to political considerations, not technical difficulties. One congressional staffer who works closely with CMS said they had been told the agency is on ‘lockdown.’