President Obama is nothing if not predictable. Required by law to release plans for new regulations twice a year, the administration has consistently done so just before major holidays, when few are paying attention.
Thus, it was no surprise to see his fall 2015 regulatory agenda released last Friday, as many Americans focused on Thanksgiving week with family and friends.
Obama’s Politically Timed Agenda Releases
Agenda – Release Date
Fall 2012 – December 21 (Friday before Christmas)
Spring 2013 – July 3 (day before Independence Day)
Fall 2013 – November 27 (day before Thanksgiving)
Spring 2014 – May 23 (Friday before Memorial Day weekend)
Fall 2014 – December 22 (three days before Christmas)
Spring 2015 – May 21 (Thursday before Memorial Day weekend)
Fall 2015 – November 23 (one week before Thanksgiving)
A look at the agenda shows why the White House didn’t want it publicized. Over 2,000 regulations are now being written. Of these, 144 are deemed “economically significant”—that is, expected to cost Americans $100 million or more each.
This is a new record, beating the previous high of 136 set by President Obama this spring. The regulations span the full scope of American life, ranging from labeling requirements for pet food, new test procedures for battery chargers, mandated paid sick leave for contractors, and automatic speed limiters for trucks to a dozen new rules limiting energy use (and increasing the price) of everything from furnaces and dishwashers to dehumidifiers.
One of these new rules may be of special interest to Americans sitting down to their Thanksgiving dinner: mandated labeling of serving sizes for food that “can reasonably be consumed at one eating occasion.”
Although none of the rules have been adopted yet, the intent is clear. The agenda is a list of what’s on the drawing board, and with barely a year left in office, the Obama administration is planning to add even more to the already unprecedented burdens it has placed on the America’s economy and society.
Americans—and the Congress they elect—should put a stop to it.
James Gattuso handles regulatory and telecommunications issues for The Heritage Foundation as a Senior Research Fellow in its Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by The Daily Signal.