President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress, calling for passage of new jobs legislation and for America to "race to the top" in pollution and labor standards. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sued seventeen banks for loan misrepresentation in connection with subprime securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Obama asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its stricter smog standards. See related RegBlog post. Al Gore criticized President Obama's decision to block stricter smog standards. Russian President Dmitiri Medvedov called for a reform of Russia's aviation industry following a plane crash that killed dozens, including many hockey stars. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report assessed the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts at preventing further terrorist attacks, concluding there is more work to be done. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled a job plan that calls for a reduction of corporate taxes and less federal regulation. See related RegBlog post. The EPA announced that boats will be banned from dumping sewage into Long Island Sound. Notwithstanding questions expressed in an agency staff report, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommended the agency approve Xarelto, a drug developed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, for preventing strokes. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested public comments to inform agency plans to conduct a retrospective review of its current regulations. A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed two challenges filed against the 2010 Patient Protection Affordable Care Act without ruling on the constitutionality of the law, holding in one case that the Commonwealth of Virginia lacked standing to challenge the law's individual insurance mandate and reasoning in the other case that the Anti-Injunction Act barred the litigation. See related RegBlog post. Regulatory Quotes from the Week "We should have no more regulation than the health, safety, and security of the American people require." Barack Obama, President of the United States of America "We don't want to tell the world that Republicans are against all regulation. No, regulation is necessary to make a free market work." Mitt Romney, Candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination "[T]he Republican claim that 'job-killing regulation' is a redundancy is as ridiculous as the left-wing view that 'job-killing regulation' is an oxymoron. Both are silly political claims that have no place in a serious discussion." Cass Sunstein, Administrator, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
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