Obama budget claims first-term regulations created $91B in benefits

President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal claims the regulations issued during his first term created $91 billion in benefits for the economy.

The president's fiscal blueprint released Wednesday also vows to strip away and simplify existing regulations to ease burdens facing the private sector.

“As the economy continues to recover and create new jobs, it is critical for the nation’s regulatory strategy to enable American businesses to grow and innovate,” an excerpt of the proposal reads.

“That is why the Administration carefully weighs the costs and benefits of rules — not by reducing difficult questions to problems of arithmetic, but by carefully weighing economic effects and also by taking into account qualitative factors, including fairness and human dignity."


Unions, watchdogs press Obama pick to end secrecy on regulations

A coalition that includes unions and watchdog groups is pressing President Obama’s budget nominee to bring more transparency to the review process for regulations.

The Coalition of Sensible Safeguards says Sylvia Burwell needs to shake things up at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) if she is confirmed as director.

“Given the enormous authority OMB has been given to review any rule a Cabinet agency generates to implement laws, it is critical that the public understand how and why it makes the decisions it makes,” the coalition wrote. “A fresh start is needed at OMB to put measures in place that make OMB at least as transparent as the agencies it oversees.”


Wednesday's meeting announcements: Ski permits and civil rights

Over a dozen new meetings will be announced in Wednesday's Federal Register:

The Securities and Exchange Commission's Investor Advisory Committee will meet publicly on April 11, and its Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies will meet on May 1.

The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit legal aid group headed by presidential appointees, is holding meetings from April 14 to 16. 

The Forest Service is holding open houses in Denver, Colo., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Lake Tahoe, Calif., to get public input on a new water rights clause for ski permits.


New regs for Wednesday: Health records and financial complaints

Here's a look at what's coming down the pike in Wednesday's Federal Register:

The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing rules to amend its exceptions for donations of electronic health record devices and another to amend the safe harbor regulation concerning the items. The Hill reported on the proposed rules on Monday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is issuing a final policy statement on plans to disclose some consumer complaint data. 


Tuesday’s meeting announcements: Safe VA facilities

A series of agencies will announce public and private meetings on Tuesday. Here's what's coming up:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s board of directors will meet on April 11 to discuss projected losses and income for the Deposit Insurance Fund.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is meeting in a closed session on April 11 to talk about administrative and enforcement matters. 


Travel grants proposed to help isolated veterans access healthcare

Veterans living in small towns or remote rural areas could receive federal grants to help them travel to the doctor, under new rules to be issued Tuesday.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) rules could provide up to $50,000 to state agencies and veteran organizations to offer transportation to service members living in “highly rural” areas.