You have probably heard about all the stealth regulations literally pouring out of OMB – all with the goal of extending the life of the Bush Administration way past what is supposed to be its death And it’s not only stealth regulations. It’s also Executive Orders. Regs take more effort, because they require compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act. But then they are harder to undo, because that requires compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Executive Orders, in contrast, just take a pen and a signature -easy to do . . . and to undo. And time grows short for the almost undead to do their dastardly deeds of darkness.
Yes, it will be an unholy mess that will make it hard for the Obama government to undo. Among the Bushites’ targets are union membership for federal employees, national parks, the environment and more.
crossposted from unbossed
Thanks to OMB Watch for keeping an eye on what the Bushites are doing. For example, just hot off the press from yesterday.
It's Friday afternoon, and since everyone is at happy hour and no one reads the paper on Saturday, it's the perfect time for the Bush administration to do things it doesn't want you to find out about.
That is why the Department of the Interior chose today to announce that it will lift the 25-year-old ban on carrying loaded weapons in national parks. This sop to the gun rights lobby is among many regulations Bush is finalizing as his time in office expires
And, of course, the latest as of Thursday on the Leave No Pristine Mountain or Stream Behind regulation, euphemistically called mountainttop removal.
The Bush administration has nearly finalized a dastardly rule that will make it legal for mining operations to dump the waste generated during mountaintop mining (tons of rock and dirt) into rivers and streams, in some cases destroying them completely.
News reports say all that remains for the Interior Department is dotting the i's and crossing the t's. On Monday, the White House Office of Management and Budget gave its final sign off. The EPA administrator, Stephen Johnson, also endorsed the rule. Under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, Interior must consult with EPA to make sure permitted surface mining activities do not unjustly degrade air or water quality.
It's hard to believe a rule that will rollback existing regulations that prevent the disposal of mining waste into rivers and streams will not dirty the water supply. But Johnson is just a puppet of the White House. In 2008, he has already kowtowed to the White House on ozone and greenhouse gas emissions.
And as a Thanksgiving Turkey for Union Workers
And unions, especially federal unions, are a must-attack-and-kill target. They have been a real thorn in the side of the Bush Administration. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) in particular has been relentless in protecting its members and the public and going after the Bushites, as has been reported again and again at unbossed. So it was, that Bush signed an Executive Order on the eve of Thanksgiving to take away the right to union representation from thousands of union workers. But, just to be a nice guy, it wasn’t posted to the website until the Monday after Thanksgiving.
As a parting gift to many of those who have stuck around during his tenure, President Bush yesterday issued an executive order stripping the collective bargaining rights of thousands of federal employees.
. . .
The executive order, Exclusions from the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program, removes collective bargaining rights for some employees in the departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, and Treasury.
According to Bush, having union represented workers is "inconsistent with national security requirements and considerations."
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7103(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code, and in order to reflect the effects of the reorganization and restructuring of the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, and the Treasury on their subdivisions exempted from coverage under the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Determinations. The subdivisions of the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, and the Treasury set forth in sections 2 through 6 of this order are
. . .
Sec. 7. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 26, 2008.
The NTEU made its views known.
Washington, D.C. — Even as key congressional leaders expressed their outrage—one called it "a power grab by the executive branch,"—employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were being notified by their agency the White House stripped from them workplace rights they have enjoyed for more than 30 years without incident or negative impact on the public.
President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents ATF employees, called the issuance at this late stage of the administration of an executive order revoking long-held collective bargaining rights, "a gratuitous slap in the face that makes these employees feel both betrayed and insulted." She stressed again the vow she made yesterday that NTEU will pursue all options to overturn this anti-union act.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and the Federal Workforce, said:
[Such]a step would harm employee morale and potentially undermine rather than strengthen national security. Sen. Akaka stated, "I am concerned with President Bush’s decision to revoke federal employees’ collective bargaining rights under the guise of national security, especially less than six weeks before President Obama will be sworn in.
Unionized workers have served proudly and bravely in a range of national and homeland security positions and they should be permitted to continue to do so. Revoking collective bargaining rights will harm employee morale, potentially undermining rather than strengthening national security."
More here from the NTEU.
You can keep track of new developments in the stealth reg attack at OMB Watch’s RegWatch.