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Obama administration delayed Obamacare, environmental regulations to help Obama's re-election

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Beltway Confidential,Barack Obama,Obamacare,The Washington Post,2012 Elections,EPA,Ashe Schow,Energy and Environment

White House officials delayed Obamacare, environmental and worker safety regulations until after the 2012 election to help President Obama's re-election chances, according to a new report from the Washington Post.

The Obama administration tried to claim that the delays were due to careful consideration of the rules, but the chart below proves that to be false:


After Obama took office in 2009, the number of reviews for significant rules increased each year until 2012, when the number dropped from over 700 reviews to just 424, a more than 60 percent reduction.

Similarly, the average number of days to complete each review increased dramatically in 2012, from about 60 days in 2011 to 79 days in 2012 and 140 days as of June 30.

“The number and scope of delays under Obama went well beyond those of his predecessors, who helped shape rules but did not have the same formalized controls,” the Post said.

Ronald White, director of regulatory policy at the Center for Effective Government, told the Post that the “overt manipulation” of the regulatory review process by the White House raised questions about the government’s involvement in writing regulations and said the Obama administration delays were “particularly egregious over the past two years.”

The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation under President George W. Bush, Jeffrey Holmstead, said the process under Bush was much less manipulated.

“There was no formalized process by which you had to get permission to send them over,” Holmstead said of submitting rules to the Bush administration.

Obamacare implementation was significantly slow due to the continued unpopularity of the law in 2012, despite Obama administration officials claiming to have won on health care.

The rule that defined “essential health benefits” under Obamacare was delayed until after the election, as well as information pertaining to which Americans would qualify for federal subsidies in the exchanges. Essentially, the rules pertaining to “affordable” and “quality” were delayed for political purposes.

The Treasury Department also held back finalizing tax-credit rules until after the election as well.

To avoid angering the oil industry, the administration delayed EPA rules requiring lower-pollution vehicles and a reduction in the amount of sulfur in gasoline. Agency officials were purportedly told to delay the rule “because critics could use it to suggest that the administration was raising gas prices,” according to the Post.

The now-infamous EPA rule that makes it nearly impossible to open a new coal plant was also delayed.

If the regulations were so good for the country, Obama should have been able to run on them for re-election.

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