President Barack Obama is expected to use his jobs speech to Congress on Thursday to blunt business and Republican criticism that his administration is engaged in regulatory overreach.

In the run-up to the speech, Mr. Obama on Friday abandoned a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule tightening air-quality standards. The administration also says a regulatory review will save businesses more than $10 billion over five years, and it eased offshore drilling restrictions in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
But the president’s pushback has limits. Last week, for example, the federal government sued to block AT&T Corp. from acquiring wireless carrier T-Mobile USA and filed suit against 17 of the world’s biggest financial institutions for not adequately disclosing the risks of home loans they sold. The White House also isn’t backing away from the Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul and the health care law.