The Obama Approach to Public Protection: Enforcement

President Barack Obama took office acknowledging weaknesses in regulation and arguing that special interests had taken control of the process. This report intends to determine whether the Obama administration has made progress in reinvigorating regulatory enforcement at the federal level. It focuses on three areas: worker safety and health, consumer safety and health, and environmental enforcement at federal agencies. This is the second of three OMB Watch reports evaluating the Obama administration’s record on regulatory issues.

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Analysis of A Pledge to America

This analysis provides a detailed examination of the legislative proposals contained in the Pledge, covering three topics: proposals that affect regulations, tax and budget proposals, and transparency and accountability proposals. The Pledge is very different than the 1994 Contract with America, in which House Republicans presented a list of eight rules changes they would immediately make to House operations, followed by ten bills they would pass within the first 100 days.

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The Obama Approach to Public Protection: Rulemaking

Rulemaking is an essential function of government, but it is one that is often overlooked or underappreciated. Rulemaking agencies are tasked with implementing the laws Congress passes, and the ensuing regulations can extend protection or opportunity to consumers, workers, businesses and the environment, often in areas where it is needed most. Conversely, poor regulations, or a lack of regulations, can imperil society and sow the seeds of disaster. This is the first of three OMB Watch reports evaluating the Obama administration’s record on regulatory issues. This report covers health, safety, and environmental rulemaking at federal agencies during the Obama administration from January 2009 through August 2010.

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Recovery Act Transparency: Implementation and Current Issues

This report, Recovery Act Transparency: Implementation and Current Issues, details essential elements of Recovery Act transparency, including recipient reporting, program effectiveness assessment, and data accessibility issues. It makes a number of recommendations to improve Recovery Act accountability.

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Controlled Unclassified Information: Recommendations for Information Control Reform

Controlled Unclassified Information: Recommendations for Information Control Reform shines a light on how government withholds unclassified information from the American people and offers recommendations on how to balance the need to protect sensitive materials with the duty to disclose information to the public.

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Building a Better Government Performance System

OMB Watch partnered with Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute and Accenture's Institute for Public Service to craft consensus recommendations for the next president related to improving government performance measurement systems. The project convened a wide range of policy experts, academics, government representatives, and others to explore areas of agreement in a very disparate field.

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How Nonprofits Helped America Vote: 2008

How Nonprofits Helped America Vote: 2008 showcases specific examples to illustrate how nonprofit organizations stepped to the plate to help voters and communities. The report describes nonprofit efforts to make the election process seamless from state to state and to promote fair environments for constituents to vote in the 2008 election.

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After Midnight

The Bush administration rushed out a host of problematic regulations in its final months. Many of these "midnight" regulations actually represent deregulatory actions that weaken or eliminate safeguards protecting health, safety, the environment, and the public's general welfare. This report, produced by OMB Watch and the Center for American Progress, explores how those rules came to be and what the Obama administration and Congress may be able to do about them.

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The Bush Legacy: An Assault on Public Protections

 This report shows that attacks on a variety of common-sense regulations over the past eight years have taken a great toll on the United States. Though not intended to serve as a comprehensive record of every anti-regulatory effort by the Bush administration, this report uses clear examples to document a wide range of activity. The storytelling style of the report, crafted by freelance writer and author Osha Gray Davidson, helps readers begin to understand how much damage has been done under the watch of George W. Bush and his vice president, Richard B. Cheney.

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Moving Toward a 21st Century Right-to-Know Agenda

OMB Watch convened a group of hundreds of individuals and organizations from across the political spectrum to put together recommendations on government openness, information, and other transparency issues. The recommendations stress the need for the Obama administration and Congress to move the federal government's information disclosure and sharing policies and processes into the 21st century, which includes the efficient, effective use of modern Internet technologies. The recommendations fall into three categories: National Security and Secrecy; Usability of Information; and Creating a Government Environment for Transparency. The group also lifted up a number of the recommendations as issues the Obama administration should tackle during its first 100 days.

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