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Indiana University

SPEA dean: Obama’s order on regulations a ‘constructive step’

January 18, 2011
Bloomington, Indiana --

President Barack Obama signed an executive order today (Jan. 18) calling on every federal agency to review its regulations to ensure they don't place undue burdens on business.

John D. Graham, dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said the initiative, even if largely symbolic, is a constructive step forward in countering the growing perception that the Obama Administration is anti-business.

John D. GrahamGraham, who served from 2001-06 as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House Office of Management and Budget, added that the provision in Obama's order with the most potential practical impact is a 120-day plan to streamline existing rules.

"This process gives OIRA new power to compel agencies to do what they do not like to do: clean up any messes they have created," he said.

Graham said Obama has acquired, or is asserting, more new regulatory authority over business than any other president in modern history. Just in the past two years, he said, each of the following industries has begun bracing for new regulations: finance, insurance, health care, energy, automotive and other manufacturing, for-profit colleges and more.

He added that many businesses are waiting to make investments until they believe they can predict what obligations, burdens and opportunities federal regulations will impose.

"It is reasonable to believe that the sluggish rate of investment in the economy is partly linked to this regulatory uncertainty, and this phenomenon is surely slowing the recovery. It is very difficult to say how much," he said.

Graham can be reached at 812-855-1432 or grahamjd@indiana.edu.


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