President Obama is making good on his promise to impose new federal regulations with a phone and pen, inking 1,568 already this year while also expanding into "regulatory dark matter" like lawsuits and guidance memos, according to a watchdog group.

Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, issued his mid-year review of new rules and regulations and said that there have already been 130 considered "significant," with an economic impact of over $100 million annually.

At the current rate, the administration is on par to continue its breakneck speed in issuing regulations and filling the Federal Register for another year. In 2014, the pace was similar when the administration ended up issuing 3,541 new rules and regs and published 78,978 pages of the Federal Register.

But Crews warned of a parallel avenue the administration is using when he wrote in his latest blog post:

"This administration has made significant use of Executive Memoranda compared to earlier ones. That practice and other kinds of federal agency 'Regulatory Dark Matter' like guidance documents, memos, bulletins, letters, lawsuits, notices, press releases and blog posts need serious attention from policy makers.

"For example, there are 11,932 Notices issued by agencies so far in 2015; most are ordinary announcements like meetings and hearings (which do matter); but some even are considered 'significant.' "

In signing Obamacare into law, President Obama led to an expansion of new health care rules. AP Photo

Obama has issued similar numbers of total regulations as former President George W. Bush, who created a new department, Homeland Security, but he has issued more costly rules.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.
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