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Group braces for $113B in looming Obama regulations

Group braces for $113B in looming Obama regulations
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A conservative advocacy group estimates that the regulations President Obama will issue in his final months in office will cost $113 billion.

The new analysis from American Action Forum (AAF) out Wednesday bases its projections on the rules listed in the Unified Agenda, a semiannual regulatory road map the administration updates every spring and fall.

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AAF Director of Regulatory Policy Sam Batkins, who authored the report, said the agenda lists 14 new economically significant rules — those with an economic impact of $100 million of more — to come before Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, including new standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to limit workers’ exposure to styrene, an industrial chemical used in manufacturing rubber and plastics. 

Of the notable rules, 10 are due out in August.

“If anyone guessed that August would once again be a popular time for regulation, congratulations,” he wrote. "As AAF has detailed in the past, generally when Congress recesses for the summer, regulatory activity increases.”

Batkins is also expecting $5.2 billion of the $113 billion in regulatory costs to come in the form of midnight regulations — rules released after Election Day before the next president takes office. The $113 billion, he said, is in addition to the $80 billion in regulatory costs already published in 2016.