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Administration moves plan to ax hundreds of regs

Updated: August 23, 2011 4:48PM

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — The White House is announcing plans Tuesday to end or cut back hundreds of government regulations, an effort the Obama administration says will save businesses $10 billion over five years.

The administration says many of the regulatory reforms focus on small businesses. Those include accelerating payments to as many as 60,000 small businesses that have contracts with the Department of Defense, and requiring the Small Business Administration to adopt a single electronic application in order to reduce paperwork burdens.

Cass Sunstein, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that the reforms will “reduce costs, simplify the system, and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency.”

After his party’s sweeping defeats in the 2010 elections, President Barack Obama launched a concerted outreach to the business community, vowing to scrutinize federal regulations that companies consider to be an excessive burden. Obama said at the time his goal was to scrap “dumb” rules without weakening ones that are needed to protect consumers and the environment.

Regulations used by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure safe air travel and by the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to protect food safety were not impacted by the plans announced Tuesday, Sunstein said in his editorial.

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