Agencies to release plans for streamlined regulations

Partly a response to criticism that Obama hasn't focused on business concerns, the plans don't go far enough for some.

The government agencies and departments tasked by President Obama earlier this year with streamlining their regulatory requirements will release their final plans on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The plans are in part a response to criticism that the Obama administration hasn't given business concerns enough consideration. But some business leaders don't think they go far enough. "Each of the proposals seems to be efficient, technical changes, but it doesn't make any impact on the overall regulatory burdens that exist on the business community," Bill Kovacs, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told The Journal.

"We will continue to eliminate unjustified regulatory costs-and thus to strengthen our economy-while taking sensible, cost-effective, evidence-based steps to protect public health and welfare," Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said in a separate Journal op-ed on Tuesday. In other words, the administration isn't going to change its broad goals such as reducing carbon emissions and protecting consumers from financial abuses.

The White House has estimated that nearly a dozen of the changes will save businesses around $10 billion over five years, The Journal reported. Smaller initiatives will also add to the savings.

Sunstein added that Chief of Staff William Daley asked the Cabinet to prioritize regulatory actions that would boost economic growth and job creation going forward. "Today's plans explicitly recognize that the regulatory look-back is not a one-time endeavor. Agencies will continue to revisit existing rules, asking whether they should be updated, streamlined, or repealed," he wrote.

This is the first time a review of regulations has been directed by the White House, rather than Congress, Kovacs said. Tuesday's announcement is the result of a review mandated by executive order in January.