This front-page Washington Post investigative report, well worth a read, documents the troubling effect of election-year politics on important regulatory actions. The lede summarizes:
The White House systematically delayed enacting a series of rules on the environment, worker safety and health care to prevent them from becoming points of contention before the 2012 election, according to documents and interviews with current and former administration officials.
The administration has previously characterized the correlation between the election and the pace of regulation as coincidental. Numerous former and current administration officials, however, told the Post otherwise.