CEI Today: Obama's new welfare law, EPA & the ethanol mandate, and court appointees under Obama vs Romney


Supposed “Bipartisan” Consensus Can’t Waive Laws Such As Welfare Reform And Its Work Requirements


As I’ve noted before, the Obama administration violated the text, structure, and purpose of the 1996 welfare reform law, in claiming the authority to waive its work requirements, which were specifically designed not to be waivable, in its July 12 HHS memorandum. (Contrary to the administration’s claims, that memo did indeed strike at the very heart of welfare reform.)

One thing that really annoys me as a lawyer is the false suggestion by people like Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution that the Obama administration’s action would have been okay if the administration had merely conferred with congressional Republicans first; and the bizarre claim by the Huffington Post that the administration’s expansion of waivers must be okay because it was supported by people such as Nevada’s Republican governor, giving it a bipartisan basis.  > Read commentary on Openmarket.org

>Interview Hans Bader


Globalwarming.org: Pressure Grows on EPA to Suspend Ethanol Mandate

Even before the drought hit, corn prices were high. Prices increased from $2.00 a bushel in 2005/2006 to $6.00 a bushel in 2011/2012, notes FarmEcon LLC. A key inflationary factor is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), commonly known as the ethanol mandate.

Since 2005, the RFS has required more and more billions of bushels to be used to fuel cars rather than feed livestock and people.

Suspension of the mandate would allow meat, poultry, and dairy producers to compete on a level playing field with ethanol producers for what remains of the drought-ravaged crop. That would reduce corn prices, benefiting livestock producers and consumers alike.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has authority under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) to waive the RFS blending targets, in whole or in part, if she determines that those requirements “would severely harm the economy or environment of a State, a region, or the United States.” The pressure on her to do so is mounting.

> Read the full commentary at Globalwarming.org


>Interview Marlo Lewis



Needed: Judicial Activism


When it comes to the issues, it’s much harder than it should be to find substantive differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney. One potential difference is in the two candidates’ potential Supreme Court nominations. This is important; there will almost certainly be some turnover in the next four years. Justice Breyer is a spry 73, while Scalia and Kennedy are 76, and Ginsburg is 79. That’s four potential picks right there. But again, the differences between Romney and Obama’s possible selections are overhyped. Both men would seek the same dominant trait in their nominees: deference.  >Read the full commentary on Spectator.org

>Interview Ryan Young or David Deerson



Also featuring...

Political Legitimacy and the Special Interest State

Alcohol Regulation Roundup: Dog Days Edition

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 68 new final rules were published, down from 85 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 28 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 2,366 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.