In an Executive Order released this week, President Obama indicated a change in direction for his administration by handing down new guidelines on how bureaucrats and regulators write and review regulations.

In an editorial in the Jan. 18 Wall Street Journal, Obama defended the need for regulations on business, but admitted that those same regulations stifle the economy and kill jobs. “Regulations do have costs,” he admitted, “and often, as a country, we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary.”

Obama’s Executive Order essentially orders an overhaul of how new rules are released and reviewed by regulators. In addition, the order requires that within 120 days, each agency submit to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs a preliminary plan for the periodic review of existing regulations to determine if they need to be modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed.

“We’re looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation,” Obama said in his editorial. “But creating a 21st century regulatory system is about more than which rules to add and which rules to subtract. As the Executive Order I am signing makes clear, we are seeking more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve the same ends – giving careful consideration to benefits and costs.”

In addition, the Executive Order specifically addresses the burdens that regulations place on small business. “I am directing federal agencies to do more to account for – and reduce – the burdens regulations may place on small businesses,” Obama wrote. “Small firms drive growth and create most new jobs in this country. We need to make sure nothing stands in their way.”

NCBA and other ag organizations welcomed the administration’s newfound commitment to an overhaul of the regulatory environment in the U.S.

“This Executive Order is a step in the right direction for the administration,” said NCBA President Steve Fogelsong. “NCBA supports common-sense regulation based on sound science that will encourage growth in the industry. Unfortunately, many of the regulations that have been proposed over the past two years will have detrimental impacts on cattle producers’ ability to do their jobs. We look forward to working with the administration on this new initiative to eliminate job and growth-killing regulations and to move the U.S. economy and the cattle industry in the right direction forward.”
-- Burt Rutherford