Obama’s planned 2013 regs would cost more than $130B, study says

The Obama administration’s newly detailed rule-making agenda for the coming year would cost in excess of $130 billion to implement, according to a conservative-leaning group that tracks regulations.

The American Action Forum (AAF) review follows the administration’s belated release last week of its spring Unified Agenda, a document that is traditionally issued twice annually and contains updates for hundreds of rules in the pipelines at federal agencies.

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Again this year, the administration plans to pump out many new rules in financial and healthcare sectors in accordance with the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

President Obama has also directed the Environmental Protection Agency to tackle the effects of climate change by curbing emissions from new and existing power plants, among other measures.

AAF looked at 40 major planned rules, and calculated a corresponding $133 billion price tag, the group said.

Highlights include:

•    More than $2.6 billion to bring the ACA’s healthcare exchanges online.
•    $5.5 billion for long-stalled regulations limiting worker exposure to harmful silica dust.
•    More than $6 billion to implement a sweeping food safety overhaul.
•    $210 million to enact new rules to rein in security swap dealers.

In total, the group identified 18 new major rules — those with an economic impact in excess of $100 million — in the spring agenda. American Action Forum is led by economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.