Obama hands over list of big-ticket regulations to Boehner, House GOP

President Obama on Tuesday informed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that his administration is considering seven regulations that would cost more than $1 billion.

Boehner asked for the list of costly rules last week as the GOP prepped a fall jobs agenda focused on stopping regulations and cutting taxes.

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Four of the regulations Obama listed as costing more than $1 billion are being considered by the Environmental Protection Agency. The others are from the Department of Transportation. 

“I agree that it is extremely important to minimize regulatory burdens and to avoid unjustified regulatory costs, particularly in this difficult economic period,” Obama wrote to Boehner. “I have taken a number of steps to achieve those goals.”

The president noted that he has initiated a review of regulations that is expected to save at least $10 billion over five years.

"The combined cost of these seven new regulatory actions alone could be more than $100 billion, according to the information released by the White House today. These costs will be felt by the American people in the form of fewer jobs and slower economic growth," Boehner said in response to the Obama revelation.

"At a time like this, with our economy struggling to create jobs, it’s misguided for the federal government to be imposing so many new rules with such enormous costs, even when some of those rules may be well-intentioned."

He called on the president to release exact cost estimates for all 219 proposed regulations that are estimated to cost more than $100 million.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday revealed that the GOP will target 10 regulations this fall in an effort to provide relief for small businesses. The four EPA regulations that Obama listed were already on the GOPs list of rules to target.


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“I think the administration has … already demonstrated that it is not interested in focusing on private-sector growth,” Cantor said Monday after announcing his party’s plan on Fox News. “What our list demonstrates is: Washington now has gotten in the way, and we’ve got to make it easier, finally, for small business people to grow.”

The EPA is considering an ozone regulation that could cost $19 billion to $90 billion to implement, a coal-and-oil utility regulation costing $10 billion, a rule for industrial boilers costing $3 billion and a regulation on coal-fired power plants costing up to $1.5 billion.

Republicans and industry groups have mounted an aggressive campaign to scuttle the Obama administrations ozone regulations. In recent weeks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute, among others, have met with the White House and the EPA to voice their opposition to the rules, which they say would put a tremendous burden on the economy.

Also on the Obama list are regulations regarding rearview mirrors that would cost $2 billion, and two involving the hours of service commercial vehicles can perform before maintenance that would cost between $1 billion and $2 billion.

Obama noted in the letter to Boehner that the regulatory agenda is by no means final.

“Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the agenda is merely a list of rules that are under general contemplation, provided to the public in order to promote transparency,” the president wrote.

“Of course, these rules are merely proposed, and before finalizing any of them, we will take account of public comments and concerns and give careful consideration to cost-saving possibilities and alternatives,” he wrote of the seven that are detailed.

The Cantor list of regulations to be rolled back does not contain the transportation rules mentioned. Instead, Cantor includes a cement regulation, and proposes rolling back parts of healthcare reform as well as limiting two labor regulations from the National Labor Relations Board.

— Andrew Restuccia contributed to this story.

This story was posted at 12:49 p.m. and has been updated.