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Blog Category: Regulations

Commerce’s Commitment to Eliminating Regulatory Burdens in Support of Growth, Competitiveness and National Security

Guest blog post by Dr. Rebecca Blank, Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In January, President Obama issued an executive order outlining his plan to create a 21st century regulatory system that encourages job creation, economic growth and U.S. competitiveness. The idea was to make it simpler, smarter and more efficient, while still protecting the health and safety of the American people.  As a key part of that plan, he called upon government agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of the rules and regulations currently on the books and to remove those that are outdated, unnecessary or excessively burdensome.  

This review has led agencies, including the Department of Commerce, to identify initiatives that have the potential to eliminate tens of millions of hours in reporting burdens and billions of dollars in regulatory costs. Today, the results of each agency’s review is being made public and posted on Whitehouse.gov. 

Here at the Commerce Department, we focused our plan on those bureaus with the greatest regulatory activity: the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the International Trade Administration (ITA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The Administrative Conference of the United States - 2010 Plenary Session

Alternate TextOn December 9-10, 2010, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) met for the first time since 1995.  General Counsel Cameron Kerry represented the Department of Commerce and was joined by NOAA General Counsel Lois Schiffer.  The representatives heard remarks from ACUS Chairman Paul Verkuil and were officially sworn in as members of the Administrative Conference of the United States by Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia.  On Thursday a recommendation for new agency procedures addressing Federal preemption of state law was offered.  After some discussion and revision the recommendation was accepted.  On Friday, members were divided into five breakout groups to brainstorm about the direction the ACUS might take in the coming months and years.  The next Plenary Session will take place on June 16-17, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

Secretary Locke Statement on New Affordable Care Act Reinsurance Program's Benefits for Employers

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations establishing the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program in the Affordable Care Act. The new law provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. Employers can use the savings to either reduce their own health care costs, provide premium relief to their workers and families, or a combination of both. (More) (White House blog) (Fact sheet)