Wednesday, July 04, 2007

House Balks at Bush Order for New Powers

President Bush this month is giving an obscure White House office new powers over regulations affecting health, worker safety and the environment. Calling it a power grab, Democrats running Congress are intent on stopping him.

The House voted last week to prohibit the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from spending federal money on Executive Order 13422, signed by Bush last January and due to take effect July 24.

The order requires federal officials to show that private companies, people or institutions failed to address a problem before agencies can write regulations to tackle it. It also gives political appointees greater authority over how the regulations are written.

The House measure "stops this president or any president from seizing the power to rewrite almost every law that Congress passes, laws that protect public health, the environment, safety, civil rights, privacy and on and on," said Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., its sponsor.

Continued...

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