President Obama on Jan. 18 ordered a review of government regulations to ensure a myriad of rules do not stifle economic growth, in a move to boost job-creating small businesses.
Obama signed an executive order designed to ensure the recovering U.S. economy is competitive and freed from suffocating red tape, while the health of Americans, public safety and the environment remains protected.
"Regulations do have costs; often as a country, we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary," Democrat Obama wrote on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal.
"But what is clear is that we can strike the right balance. We can make our economy stronger and more competitive, while meeting our fundamental responsibilities to one another," Obama wrote.
He said regulations should not hamper growth as he promised businesses, experts and ordinary citizens input in the rulemaking process.
Republicans welcomed the move, but hinted that the president, to whom they had dealt a stunning blow in mid-term elections last year, had co-opted some of their ideas -- while not going far enough.
"Today's executive order from President Obama shows that he heard the same message I did in the last election -- that Americans are sick and tired of Washington's excessive overreach and overspending," said Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor.
"While I applaud his efforts on this new executive order today, we must go further."
In the Journal article, Obama said that his government would seek more affordable and less intrusive ways to make rules, adding that he would also seek to cut down on "absurd and unnecessary paperwork" and put more government business online.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011