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Obama administration set to regulate e-cigs in 'flood' of new federal rules

A Senate aide delivers a stack of documents bound in red tape described as the federal regulations dealing with "Obamacare." (Photo: AP)

Perhaps like New York City, the Obama administration objects to e-cigarettes because they resemble the real thing. But Bloomberg reports that new federal regulations on the vapor cigs are just a few of many new regulations to come in 2014. Oh joy.

Over the next 12 months, the Obama administration is due to issue regulations governing everything from e-cigarettes to smoke-stack emissions in what experts predict will be a second-term rush to put rules in place before leaving office.

“In every administration, these things have to be wrapped up in at least the second to last year,” Cindy Skrzycki, author of “The Regulators: Anonymous Power Brokers in American Politics,” said in an interview. Skrzycki said 2014 will be an important year for agencies to get new rules under way.

It’s all part of what U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue yesterday called a flood of regulations that the business lobby intends to fight. “There is no such thing as a lame-duck president when it comes to regulations,” he said in a speech in Washington calling for a reform of rulemaking.

President Barack Obama’s administration so far has approved 240 economically significant rules -- those that have an annual economic impact of more than $100 million -- since taking office. That compares with 191 for the administration of President George W. Bush and 188 for President Bill Clinton over that same period of time, according to an Office of Management and Budget database.

A semiannual summary of regulatory actions in the works, published last week by the OMB, shows a full agenda. The White House has been reviewing since October proposed Food and Drug Administration regulations for electronic cigarettes. U.S. banking regulators this month plan to vote on the so-called Volcker rule to prohibit banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. from using their own money to make speculative bets.

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