Congress And The Courts Vs. Regulation

Posted by | July 6, 2012 17:15 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Twice in the past week, in stories that may have escaped your attention, progressive regulations by the Obama Administration were thwarted by the other two branches.  First, Congress stopped rules that would have curbed noise at the Grand Canyon.

Arizona Republicans and Nevada lawmakers of both parties worked together to craft legislation that effectively blocks a proposal by the park service to impose tougher noise standards on the $120 million-a-year tour industry, which operates out of both states.

Their legislation was quietly inserted into a massive transportation bill that was passed by both the House and Senate on Friday and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.

Environmentalists decried the action, saying it undermines a decades-long struggle to restore natural quiet to one of America’s best-known and loved scenic wonders.

And then an Appeals Court stopped the Administration from tightening the reins on for-profit colleges.

A federal judge has struck down a key provision in an Obama administration regulation that would have penalized education programs whose graduates end up with huge debts and low job prospects.

The Education Department’s “gainful employment regulations,” which would have gone into effect Sunday, were designed to prevent career training programs, mainly at for-profit colleges, from leaving students with unaffordable debt and limited employment options.

On the one hand, I’m disappointed by both of these decisions.  On the other, it does take away the argument that we’re at the mercy of the President and his big bad regulations.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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