The government shutdown has all but turned off the regulatory spigot, reducing the flow of new rules from federal agencies to a trickle.
Regulators and proponents of stronger protections warn that rulemaking delays will jeopardize public safety and health. But some conservatives say the reprieve from red tape is welcome, even if it doesn’t last long.
“We’re very pleased that the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to wreck the U.S. economy with more and more heavy-handed and colossally expensive regulations has been put on hold,” said Myron Ebell, director of the right-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute’s energy and environment center.
“By and large, the people writing those regulations and trying to get them promulgated are not in the office,” he said.
Thousands of workers from U.S. regulatory agencies have been sent home indefinitely as Congress tries to reach an agreement on legislation to restart the government. Several agencies are operating with fewer than 10 percent of their usual workforce.