Republicans attack Obama's reg czar

Republicans grilled the Obama administration’s regulatory czar Wednesday for letting unnecessarily burdensome rules slip through the cracks.

The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for scrutinizing rules from federal agencies to make sure they are cost-effective, but Republicans accused the OIRA of falling asleep on the job and letting agencies “game the system.”

“OIRA has not done enough to ensure that agencies obey rule-making procedures designed to prevent overly burdensome or unnecessary regulations,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (R-Va.) said Wednesday at a hearing.

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This comes as Republicans are pushing new regulatory reform legislation that would roll back the Obama administration’s rule-making authority.

Goodlatte complained about a “shift in power from elected officials to unaccountable bureaucrats at federal regulatory agencies.”

As an example, he pointed out that federal agencies issued 16 times more regulations than the number of laws Congress passed in 2014.

OIRA Administrator Howard Shelanski said his agency is working to weed out overly burdensome regulations by working to “hone and sharpen” rules before they are issued.

“One of the things we’re most concerned with at OIRA is to make sure that rules achieve their goals,” Shelanski told lawmakers.

But Goodlatte accused him of paying “lip service” to Congress. 

“Unfortunately, there is evidence that these statements are merely lip service,” Goodlatte said.