Panel aims to debunk ‘anti-regulatory myths’

As a result, many rules have stalled at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is charged with vetting federal agency rules, Shapiro said.

Shapiro argued that regulations prompt companies to hire compliance officers and other workers, sparking economic activity. He said many regulations generate as many jobs than they cost.

“In any case, its not job killing,” he said.

Peg Seminario, director of occupational safety at the AFL-CIO, said there is no truth to the oft-evoked narrative that President Obama is presiding over an avalanche of regulations.

“In my area of the world, there has not even been a ripple,” said Seminario, who added that just two significant worker safety rules had been enacted on Obama’s Watch.

Meanwhile many more languish, including a rule to limit construction and shipyard workers’ exposure to harmful silica dust, which has been stuck at OIRA for over two years.

Shapiro, Seminario John Walke, clean air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said their defense of federal regulations comes as congressional Republicans press a series of bills that would further slow the rulemaking process.

The measures would add new analytical requirements on agencies charged with drafting new rules, rein in independent agencies’ regulatory authority and  give Congress a say over major proposed rules.

The latter proposal, known as the REINS Act, would subject rules to the same process that has ground most legislation to a halt in recent years, Shapiro said.

“This literally would end government regulations,” he said.