Joan Claybrook has an excellent editorial in Public Citizen News entitled "Bush steps up his attack on the regulatory system, endangering important health and safety protections." She gives the chronology of the attacks and notes that there is a stepped up effort to undermine the federal regulatory system. In January, Mr. Bush issued a new executive order requiring agencies to submit to the White House "significant guidance documents." It had already required them to submit to the White House proposed regulations dealing with health, environmental, and other public protections. The White House controls the content of these regulations. As I have previously noted, (see 4/1/07) not only is the president undermining health and safety agencies, he is still pushing an anti-regulatory zealot to oversee the entire regulatory process, Susan Dudley. Mr. Bush’s nomination of Michael Baroody to chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission is another example of the White House’s determination to obstruct regulations guarding our health and safety. Baroody is the executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers. What do you suppose his attitude is about health and safety restraints on industry? Ms Claybrook has outlined the Bush administration’s attempt to breach the dam of health and safety regulations in order to allow big business to do what they want in their quest for a dollar. The good news is the change in the Washington political scene. Ms Claybrook notes:
"For the first time since he took office in 2001, the all powerful president, who appeared to have a blank check from law makers to as he pleased, finally has had to worry that Congress would challenge his policies, launch investigations into his actions and harshly question his agency heads….The administration is struggling to retain power now that Congress is no longer rubber stamping the president’s policies. Congress should investigate the White House’s abuse of power and anti consumer policies, overturn the executive order and turn down the nomination of any anti regulation radicals."
We are fortunate to have people like Joan Claybrook and Public Citizen monitoring the actions of the Bush administration.