The Price of Rushing Regulatory Reform

As Bush leaves office, there's a rush to issue last-minute regulations for the nation's executive agencies. As a result, we face the specter of starting 2009 with an ill-considered regulatory regime that will be hard for the next president to alter.

June 19, 2008

Posted on Politico.com June 19, 2008

A rush to issue last-minute regulations for the nation's executive agencies has become one of the hallmarks of a lame-duck presidency. The goal is pointedly antidemocratic: to frustrate the ability of the next president to implement his or her policies. Not only is President Bush's administration embracing this goal wholeheartedly, but it is trying to do a better job of legacy-cementing than its predecessor did. As a result, we face the specter of starting 2009 with an ill-considered regulatory regime that will be hard for the next president to alter.

When President Bill Clinton left office in January 2001, many of his proposed regulations were still in the pipeline and had not yet taken effect. It was an easy move for President Bush to order his agencies not to finalize them.

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