White House threatens to veto reg reform bills

White House threatens to veto reg reform bills
© Greg Nash

President Obama is threatening to veto controversial regulatory reform legislation from Republicans.

The White House said this week the president would reject two bills that would clamp down on federal agencies’ authority to issue rules.

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The House is expected on Thursday to approve the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act, better known as the SCRUB Act. The measure would create a commission to retrospectively review and wipe out unnecessary and duplicative regulations.

But the administration, which has already taken steps to conduct a retrospective review of government rules, is concerned Republicans could abuse the power.

“The bill’s ‘cut-go’ approach is problematic,” the White House wrote. “It would interfere with the ability of agencies to issue regulations that are essential for the protection of public health, safety, and the environment.”

“This ability should not be constrained by a commissions’ recommendation, or congressional approval of a list of repealable rules,” it added.

The House will also vote Thursday on the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, which would limit the ability of advocacy groups to take federal agencies to court in an effort to pressure them to issue new rules.

Republicans have expressed concerns about this "sue-and-settle" process, but the White House says it is a “nonexistent problem.” 

"It also would address a nonexistent problem that is already prohibited by federal regulations: Collusion between agencies, interest groups, and the courts to avoid compliance with the rulemaking procedures,” the White House wrote.