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Washington Watch – Obama’s Final Push for Regulations

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The Obama Administration may be winding down, but the White House team does not have its feet up, polishing off their resumes.  To the contrary, regulations that have been pending in agencies are being finalized at a fast clip.

According to the American Action Forum, since January the Administration has pushed out 195 regulations.  The Heritage Foundation says 27 major regulations (referred to in government speak as rules) were promulgated last year.

There are nuances to the 195 number— after all, many are not imposing new burdens.  But suffice it to say, this Administration figured out that what isn’t possible through legislation can be possible through regulations.

While the Constitution makes it clear that Congress makes the laws, and the Executive branch implements them, it’s not so simple.  In 1996, Congress created a tool to overturn agency regulations they disapprove of, within 60 Congressional meeting days of it being finalized.

Usually, that doesn’t amount to anything because a President would just veto a Congressional disapproval of a regulation.  However, in an election year, there are so few days Congress comes to work in Washington, that regulations finalized in the Spring and Summer do not have 60 Congressional work days for review and are subject to an additional review period in the new year- with a new President and Congress.

What does this have to do with women business owners?  Plenty.  Here are a few examples.

The Administration’s Overtime rule came in just under the wire on May 22.  The rule more than doubles the salary threshold at which employers are legally required to pay employees for overtime.  It applies to salaried employees in executive, administrative and professional roles that are making up to $47,476 annually.

If those employees work more than 40 hours in a week, they will now be eligible for time-and-a-half payments.  The current threshold, set in 2004, is $23,660.  The rule‘s new salary threshold will take effect December 1st.

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Ann Sullivan
Ann Sullivanhttp://www.madisonservicesgroup.com/
ANN Sullivan is the President of Madison Services Group, Inc, a woman-owned government relations firm in Washington, DC. She also serves as Women Impacting Public Policy’s chief advocate in Washington, D.C., a role she has now held for over a decade.

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