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Washington– President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered a government-wide review of regulations, both old and new, in a broad push to curtail rules that retard job creation and economic growth.

In a move to improve his relations with the business community, Obama ordered government agencies to consider the costs of regulations, maximize public input in their development, ensure they are underpinned by science, and consider their impact on small businesses.

Some rules place “unreasonable burdens on business — burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs,” Obama said in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he unveiled his plans.

Obama said he would require that in the future, government agencies “ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth.”

It was not immediately clear how far-reaching Obama’s new strategy would be in changing the way the government operates. He did not specify which regulations are unreasonably onerous.

Obama’s legislative victories are producing scores of new regulations, ranging from credit card fees to health insurance premiums, to the annoyance of the business community.

The president has struck a more business-friendly tone since his Democrats lost majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives and saw their Senate majority reduced in November’s congressional elections.

Obama is scheduled to meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, corporate America’s biggest lobbying group and a long-time foe of expanded regulations, on February 7.

Business leaders say regulations, including those being written for the healthcare and financial reform, have hurt job creation at a time of nearly double-digit unemployment.

Senior administration officials said on a conference call with reporters that Obama’s goals can be met without compromising efforts to protect the environment, ensure workplace safety, and protect Americans’ health.

They said agencies will have to put more regulatory enforcement and compliance information online, and that steps in this direction have already been taken by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

While vowing to eliminate rules that are “not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb,” the president said his administration would not shy away from writing new rules to address “obvious gaps” in government oversight.


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