The White House “systematically” delayed regulations on the environment, worker safety and health care to prevent them from becoming issues during the 2012 election, according to the Washington Post.
Ah yes, the post-political president. The man corrupted the policy process in order to get reelected, essentially deceiving voters about what he would be up to once he had the presidency safely in his pocket again, disguising his true intentions by putting them off.
From the story, a great piece of journalism by veteran reporter Juliet Eilperin:
Some agency officials were instructed to hold off submitting proposals to the White House for up to a year to ensure that they would not be issued before voters went to the polls, the current and former officials said.
The delays meant that rules were postponed or never issued. The stalled regulations included crucial elements of the Affordable Care Act, what bodies of water deserved federal protection, pollution controls for industrial boilers and limits on dangerous silica exposure in the workplace.
And of course, they lied about it. It’s getting to the point where I wouldn’t believe this White House if they said night had fallen.
The Obama administration has repeatedly said that any delays until after the election were coincidental and that such decisions were made without regard to politics. But seven current and former administration officials told The Washington Post that the motives behind many of the delays were clearly political, as Obama’s top aides focused on avoiding controversy before his reelection.
And not everybody did this.
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, said current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
At the time, “Regulatory Czar” Cass Sunstein was heading up the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which oversees the implementation of federal rules. It seems the operation was thoroughly politicized under Sunstein, a prominent liberal theorist who was Obama’s colleague and friend at the University of Chicago law school and who advised Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Sunstein, unsurprisingly, declined to comment for the article.